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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2019 Jan 29. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001658. [Epub ahead of print]

Management of Pain After Pediatric Trauma.

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Department of Research Administration, Children's Health Dallas, Dallas, TX.



The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the management of pain after traumatic injury in the pediatric emergency department (ED) as measured by time to analgesic administration and pain resolution, stratified by triage acuity level.


This is a retrospective descriptive study evaluating the management of children who presented with pain after injury to an urban level 1 trauma center. Consecutive enrollment of 1000 patients identified by ICD-9 codes that included all injuries or external causes for injury (700-999 and all E codes) and who had pain identified by triage pain assessment was performed. For analysis, patients were grouped according to triage level.


Fifty-one percent (511/1000) of patients achieved pain resolution, and an additional 20% (200/1000) of patients had documented improvement in pain score during their ED visit. Triage acuity level 1 group received medications the fastest with a median time of 12 minutes (interquartile range, 10-53 minutes); 65.3% of patients (653/1000) received a pain medication during their ED visit; 54.3% of these patients received oral medications only. Average time to intravenous line placement was 2 hours 35 minutes (SD, 2 hours 55 minutes). Only 1.9% of patients received any medications prior to arrival.


Higher-acuity patients received initial pain medications and had initial pain score decrease before lower-acuity patients. Given the retrospective nature of the study, we were unable to clearly identify barriers that contributed to delay in or lack of pain treatment in our patient population.

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