RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Efficacy of pain control with topical lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine during laceration repair with tissue adhesive in children: a randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Some children feel pain during wound closures using tissue adhesives. We sought to determine whether a topically applied analgesic solution of lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine would decrease pain during tissue adhesive repair.

METHODS: We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded trial involving 221 children between the ages of 3 months and 17 years. Patients were enrolled between March 2011 and January 2012 when presenting to a tertiary-care pediatric emergency department with lacerations requiring closure with tissue adhesive. Patients received either lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine or placebo before undergoing wound closure. Our primary outcome was the pain rating of adhesive application according to the colour Visual Analogue Scale and the Faces Pain Scale--Revised. Our secondary outcomes were physician ratings of difficulty of wound closure and wound hemostasis, in addition to their prediction as to which treatment the patient had received.

RESULTS: Children who received the analgesic before wound closure reported less pain (median 0.5, interquartile range [IQR] 0.25-1.50) than those who received placebo (median 1.00, IQR 0.38-2.50) as rated using the colour Visual Analogue Scale (p=0.01) and Faces Pain Scale--Revised (median 0.00, IQR 0.00-2.00, for analgesic v. median 2.00, IQR 0.00-4.00, for placebo, p<0.01). Patients who received the analgesic were significantly more likely to report having or to appear to have a pain-free procedure (relative risk [RR] of pain 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.37-0.80). Complete hemostasis of the wound was also more common among patients who received lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine than among those who received placebo (78.2% v. 59.3%, p=0.008).

INTERPRETATION: Treating minor lacerations with lidocaine-epinephrine-tetracaine before wound closure with tissue adhesive reduced ratings of pain and increased the proportion of pain-free repairs among children aged 3 months to 17 years. This low-risk intervention may benefit children with lacerations requiring tissue adhesives instead of sutures.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, no. PR 6138378804.

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