Did a protocol change improve pediatric pain management?

Recent positon statements on best practices of pain management in the prehospital setting from the National Association of EMS Physicians, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Emergency Medical Services for Children have inspired some EMS agencies to modify their protocols for treating pediatric patients.

The study, “Multicenter Evaluation of Prehospital Opioid Pain Management in Injured Children,” evaluates Mecklenberg EMS Agency (Charlotte), Houston Fire Department and Milwaukee County EMS for 10 months prior to and 10 months after each agency changed their protocols to reflect the best practices recommended by NAEMSP, NHTSA and EMSC.

Nearly 7,400 children were transported by all three agencies over the course of the study period, split equally before and after the changes. Of those transported, just under 6,600 pediatric transports met age and eligibility requirements to be included in the study. Both before and after the protocols changed, 18 percent of patients had a documented pain severity assessment.

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