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Pediatric Pain Management In The Emergency Department (Trauma CME) (Pharmacology CME)

December 2012

Abstract

Analgesia is a critical part of the management of pediatric patients in the emergency department. Pain is multifactorial and is influenced by its etiology as well as the patient’s age, temperament, beliefs, and past experiences. Suboptimal treatment of pain can have deleterious effects in the short term, and it can also affect a patient’s reaction to future painful experiences and development. Tools exist to reliably quantify a patient’s pain level regardless of age or developmental stage. Both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic methods can be effective in the management of pediatric pain. Emergency clinicians must remain vigilant in the recognition and treatment of pediatric pain, as patients’ developmental level may limit their ability to adequately express their pain experience. This review discusses several pain scales that are suitable for pediatric patients (including the Faces Pain Scale, the OucherTM, and the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale) and discusses pediatric pain management using nonpharmacologic methods, topical, local, and regional anesthesia, and systemic agents.

Keywords: pain management, pain scales, the Faces Pain Scale, the OucherTM, and the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale, FLACC scale, pediatric pain management, nonpharmacologic pain management, topical anesthesia, local anesthesia, regional anesthesia, systemic agents for pain control, clinical pathway for pediatric pain management, abdominal pain, lumbar puncture pain

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