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Anesth Analg. 1987 Jul;66(7):647-53.

Caudal morphine for postoperative analgesia in children: a comparison with caudal bupivacaine and intravenous morphine.


We compared the efficacy, duration, and side effects of preservative-free morphine injected into the caudal space in children, with caudal bupivacaine and with intravenous morphine administration for relief of postoperative pain. Forty-six children, ages 1-16 yr, were randomly assigned to receive intravenous morphine (control group), caudal bupivacaine (0.25%, 1 ml/kg), or caudal morphine (0.5 mg/ml, 0.1 mg/kg). In half the patients given caudal morphine, the morphine was mixed with a dose of lidocaine adequate to produce sacral analgesia, to confirm correct caudal injection of the morphine. Caudal injections were performed at the end of surgery. Time until the first required postoperative intravenous morphine dose was recorded for each patient. The duration of analgesia was significantly greater with caudal morphine (median 12 hr, P less than 0.02) than with caudal bupivacaine (median 5 hr), and both were greater than with intravenous morphine in control patients (median 45 min). Urinary retention, pruritus, and nausea appeared with slightly greater frequency in the caudal morphine group, but no delayed respiratory depression occurred. Caudal morphine (0.5 mg/ml, 0.1 mg/kg) provided 8-24 hr of analgesia in children without a significantly greater incidence of side effects than caudal bupivacaine or intravenous morphine.

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