When patients arrive in the emergency room, nearly all but those with the most minor complaints get an IV.
To draw blood, give medications or administer fluids, the IV is the way doctors and nurses gain access to the body. Putting one in is quick and simple, and it's no more painful than a mild bee sting.
Yet for some patients, this routine procedure becomes excruciating. On my shifts as an emergency physician, I began to notice a strange pattern. These hypersensitive patients often had a history of using opioids.