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Pediatric pain management in the emergency department.

Over the past 25 years, pediatric emergency medicine research and literature have progressively augmented our knowledge of safe and effective pediatric pain management strategies. Yet there is still much more we need to do to understand the painful experiences of children, and to develop optimal safe ways of addressing their needs within the context of a busy pediatric emergency department (ED). In this article, the authors review the history of ED pediatric pain management and sedation, discuss special considerations in pediatric pain assessment and management, review various pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic methods of alleviating pain and anxiety, and present ideas to improve the culture of the pediatric ED, so that it can achieve the goal of becoming pain-free.

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