Critical Appraisal Of The Literature
As of June 2012, there were nearly 500,000 articles related to pain indexed in Ovid MEDLINE® and over 200 reviews in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. While this provides a plethora of information, not all of this literature is relevant to the practice of emergency medicine. A review was performed, building on previous works10,11 and focusing on issues pertinent to traumatic pain management in the ED. Some 510 articles were identified in MEDLINE® with the search terms emergency trauma analgesia. Additional resources were used, including the Web of Science, The National Guideline Clearinghouse (www.guideline.gov), articles known to the author, and several textbooks.
Many of the seminal investigations guiding the practice of trauma analgesia were performed by anesthesiologists and surgeons prior to the advent of emergency medicine. This does not negate their utility, but, in some cases, this may limit generalizability to the ED setting.