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<< Pain Management in the Emergency Department

Critical Appraisal Of The Literature

An extensive literature search through the National Library of Medicine’s Pub Med database (limited to English language) and a review of the pertinent references was performed. The National Guideline Clearinghouse (initiative of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) was reviewed to find the most recent guidelines on pain management. The Library of Congress’, THOMAS (database of congressional bills and resolutions), was reviewed to find current legislative initiatives related to pain management. In addition, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Clinical Policies were reviewed for recommendations and guidelines pertaining to this topic.

Table 1 details some available resources for policies and guidelines pertaining to pain management. In addition to the ones listed, there are treatments for specific entities (i.e. rizatriptan for acute migraine). The National Guideline Clearinghouse has 107 guidelines using key words ‘pain management’ and ‘emergency medicine’ that cover a range of entities, from ankle sprain to chest pain to burn management.