COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Analgesic efficacy and safety of preoperative versus postoperative ketorolac in paediatric tonsillectomy

J Rømsing, D Ostergaard, S Walther-Larsen, N Valentin
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 1998, 42 (7): 770-5
9698951

BACKGROUND: Tonsillectomy is a common procedure in childhood resulting in significant morbidity due to pain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the analgesic efficacy and safety of a single dose of ketorolac i.v. given before or after tonsillectomy, compared to placebo.

METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed in 60 children, 5 to 15 years of age, admitted for tonsillectomy. Patients were allocated to receive ketorolac 1 mg.kg-1 i.v. or placebo. Postoperative pain was assessed by self-report 1.5, 3, 5, and 24 h after surgery.

RESULTS: Pain scores were significantly lower for both ketorolac groups compared to the placebo group 1.5, 3, and 5 h after surgery (P = 0.05). Pain scores were lowest in the preoperative ketorolac group 1.5 to 5 h after surgery, and significantly fewer children in this group had fentanyl 0 to 1.5 hr after surgery. But no significant differences were found between pain scores of the preoperative and postoperative ketorolac groups in the first 24 h after surgery. Acetaminophen consumption during the first 5 h after surgery was significantly less in patients receiving ketorolac (P < 0.05). Patients in the preoperative ketorolac group had a significantly lower incidence of postoperative vomiting (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in the incidence of postoperative bleeding between groups. Three children in the preoperative, 5 children in the postoperative ketorolac group and 5 children in the placebo group experienced postoperative haemorrhage.

CONCLUSION: This study indicates that a single dose of ketorolac 1 mg.kg-1 i.v. administered either before or immediately after surgery improves postoperative analgesia in children after tonsillectomy without evidence of increased incidence of bleeding.

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