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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Paediatric analgesia in an Emergency Department

C Hawkes, G Kelleher, J Hourihane
Irish Medical Journal 2008, 101 (4): 106-9
18557511
Timely management of pain in paediatric patients in the Emergency Department (ED) is a well-accepted performance indicator. We describe an audit of the provision of analgesia for children in an Irish ED and the introduction of a nurse-initiated analgesia protocol in an effort to improve performance. 95 children aged 1-16 presenting consecutively to the ED were included and time from triage to analgesia, and the rate of analgesia provision, were recorded. The results were circulated and a nurse initiated analgesia protocol was introduced. An audit including 145 patients followed this. 55.6% of patients with major fractures received analgesia after a median time of 54 minutes, which improved to 61.1% (p = 0.735) after 7 minutes (p = 0.004). Pain score documentation was very poor throughout, improving only slightly from 0% to 19.3%. No child had a documented pain score, which slightly improved to 19.3%. We recommend other Irish EDs to audit their provision of analgesia for children.

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