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Improving the delivery of analgesia to children in pain
  1. L J Somers1,
  2. M W Beckett1,
  3. P M Sedgwick2,
  4. D C Hulbert1
  1. 1Accident and Emergency Department, West Middlesex University Hospital, London
  2. 2Department of Public Health Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, London
  1. Correspondence to: Miss Hulbert, Emergency Department, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK


Objectives—To improve the time taken for children arriving to the accident and emergency (A&E) department in pain to receive analgesia. Delivery within 30 minutes of triage was taken as an achievable goal.

Methods—262 children who had received analgesia in the “minor injuries” area of West Middlesex University Hospital A&E department were studied over a four month period. Current practice was indicated over the first two months by retrospectively looking at data from 129 children's A&E cards. A Paediatric Pain Protocol was then introduced and another 133 children's cards studied to see if this had made an improvement. The protocol for those children aged over 4 years differed to that for children aged 4 years and under.

Results—For children aged 4 years and over, the introduction of the protocol significantly increased the number that received analgesia within 30 minutes of triage: 55.3% (n=54) post-protocol versus 34.0% (n=33) pre-protocol (p=0.003). However, for children aged 4 years and under there was no change in the proportion that received analgesia within 30 minutes of triage: 56.7% (n=17) post-protocol versus 59.4% (n=19) pre-protocol (p=0.829).

Conclusions—The introduction of a simple Paediatric Pain Protocol has improved the time taken to deliver analgesia to children arriving in this A&E department.

  • paediatric analgesia
  • pain relief

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.