Major Deficiencies in Treatment of Children in Pain in Alberta, Canada, ERs

In what may be the first study of pain management for children, it has been determined that “Children are at high risk for the undertreatment of pain” either during procedures or in the ER. Not only is better pain management needed, general pain management policies need to be in place. Dr. Samina Ali of the University of Alberta is asking for a call to action for the creation of these policies across Canada. In one pediatric emergency department study, analgesia was provided to only 27% of children even though “pain was documented 60% of the time.”

Pain management varied with injury, illness, or procedure, and only one-third of the 72 hospitals surveyed had a policy for triage pain documentation. Less than half had any sort of policy for sedation of children. Due to this lack of a uniform policy for children, parents are their child’s best advocate when it comes to pain management and prevention. The study encourages parents to ask healthcare providers for medications and music, TV, games, even bubble blowing as distractions during procedures.

Read the article here.

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