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Effects on patient care of introducing prehospital intravenous nalbuphine hydrochloride.
  1. P Hyland-McGuire,
  2. H R Guly
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK.


    OBJECTIVE: Since March 1992, intravenous nalbuphine hydrochloride has been used prehospital by paramedics in the Plymouth area. This study assesses the impact of this intervention. METHODS: A prospective study of the parenteral analgesic requirements of 1000 consecutive patients arriving by ambulance at the accident and emergency (A&E) department of a large district general hospital. Where parenteral analgesia was given in the A&E department but not by ambulance personnel, a questionnaire was sent to the ambulance crew concerned to ascertain the reasons for not having given nalbuphine. RESULTS: Of 1000 consecutive patients arriving by ambulance, 87 (8.7%) had been given parenteral analgesia either prehospital, in A&E, or in both places. Seventy five (7.5%) needed parenteral analgesia in the A&E department, 29 (2.9%) had been given prehospital intravenous analgesia by paramedics, and a further seven (0.7%) had been given parenteral analgesia by a general practitioner (GP). Thus 36 (3.6%) received prehospital analgesia. Ten patients who had been given analgesia by paramedics required no further analgesia in A&E, whereas 51 patients who had not been given prehospital analgesia required parenteral analgesia in the A&E department. CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of nalbuphine for use by paramedics in prehospital care has increased prehospital parenteral analgesia from 1% in 1992 (given by GPs only) to 3.6% in the current study group, and 41% of patients requiring parenteral analgesia received analgesia prehospital. There may be further scope for extending the indications for nalbuphine use by ambulance personnel.

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