The "blood-brain barrier" talk, and when to question it.

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. Have you been told that "inhaled" morphine doesn't cross the "blood-Brain Barrier"? This statement has been repeated to me by almost every nurse at Mom's SNF. They wanted to get in onboard very quickly after her arrival. Mom is in NO pain but is 96 and they said they need to have the order there for when things go quickly south. They keep repeating that it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier so it won't effect her mentally. I said I didn't want it used until needed. It is a battle.
Finally had a care consultation with head doctor, head of Hospice, and staff at SNF and I called out the head of Hospice for repeating this blood/brain statement and convincing all of the nurses of it. The head doctor backed me up and said that inhaling morphine was the quickest method next to IV to get the morphine to the brain. Just for a minute thing about how oxygen travels to the bloodstream from the lungs, smoking cigarettes or pot, etc to understand this.
I just wanted to say something about this because I've seen others on this site repeat the same misinformation.
Of course when a loved one is dying and in need of relief it's a very useful medication, but in my mom's case it was being mishandled and the nurses were getting their info about the drug from a misinformed Hospice head.
Researching things for yourself relieves a burden when you're feeling uneasy about something.

3 Comments

Good for you Stressed, and thanks for passing this on!
Yes!
Did a little reading. It seems like some forms of morphine cross the BBB and others don't
More complex than yes or no, like most of medicine.

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