Is pain properly managed in children presenting with fractures? A retrospective audit of children presenting to the emergency department (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

*Rafie A

British Journal of Surgery; Jun 2020; vol. 107 ; p. 68

Aim: Pain is a common problem in the surgical field, especially when treating children – but how well is it managed, and documented? In this audit we aim to answer a few key questions. Is analgesia administered prehospital? Are pain scores recorded, and re-evaluated? And is analgesia offered and/or administered in the Emergency Department(ED)? Method: A retrospective audit was carried out between two hospitals on 100 patients aged between 5-15 presenting to the ED. A search was carried out using SNOMEDand ICD10 codes, to find patients presenting with fractures – and the ED CAS cards reviewed.
Result(s): The data showed poor compliance between both hospitals – pain scores were seldom recorded, or reevaluated; and in 58% of cases analgesia was not offered and no reason was documented. 28% of patients were given pre-hospital analgesia and only 2% of patients had an analgesia review.
Conclusion(s): Adequate pain management is vital, especially in children – as they often don't self-report pain. The study found that the worst compliance was in documentation of pain scores, and their re-evaluation. However, more concerningly analgesia was only administered in 19% of cases – and in many cases there was no documentation as to why it wasn't offered.

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