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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2018 Nov 26. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001696. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluating for Racial Differences in Pain Management of Long-Bone Fractures in a Pediatric Rural Population.

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From the Department of Emergency Medicine, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA.



The aim of this study was to determine if a racial disparity exists in the administration of an analgesic, time to receiving analgesic, and type of analgesic administered to children with long-bone fractures. Prior studies have reported the existence of racial disparity but were mostly in adult and urban populations.


This is a retrospective chart review of 727 pediatric patients (aged 2-17 years) with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (or 10th revision) codes for long-one fractures in an emergency department that cares for a suburban and rural population between January 2013 and January 2016. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio of receiving no analgesic versus receiving an analgesic and receiving a nonopioid versus opioid drug. Linear regression analysis was performed to study the relationship between race and time to receive the analgesic, after adjusting for sex, age, insurance type, and mechanism of injury.


Of the 727 children, 27% of them did not receive analgesics regardless of race. 27% (164/605) of white children, 25% (8/31) of African American children, and 24% (12/49) of Hispanic children did not receive analgesics. African Americans are 12% more likely (odds ratio [OR], 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48-2.61) to receive an analgesic compared with whites, and Hispanics are 22% more likely (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.60-2.45) to receive an analgesic than whites. African Americans are 26% less likely (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.31-1.75) to receive an opioid versus a nonopioid compared with whites, and Hispanics are 92% more likely (OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 0.91-4.17). Mean wait time across all races was 69 minutes, with no statistical difference between groups.


This study showed no statistical significance in the receipt or type of analgesic or wait time for pediatric long-bone fractures between race in a major academic level 1 trauma children's hospital, despite previous literature citing otherwise. This study augments to the few studies conducted in a rural setting. It is also one of the few studies that analyzed pain management in a large pediatric population as well as used waiting time to receive analgesic as an outcome measure. Overall, we found a mean wait time of 69 minutes for analgesic administration regardless of race, suggesting the need for more prompt pain management across all races for the management of long-bone fracture in the pediatric population.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

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