Multicentre emergency department study found that paracetamol and ibuprofen were inappropriately used in 83% and 63% of paediatric cases

Franca Benini, Emanuele Castagno, Egidio Barbi, Sabrina Congedi, Antonio Urbino, Paolo Biban, Lucia Calistri, Rossella Letizia Mancusi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: The Pain Practice in Italian Paediatric Emergency Departments assessed how appropriately analgesic drugs were being used by Italian clinicians, based on national paediatric pain guidelines. Methods: This was a retrospective study that involved 17 Italian members of the Pain In Pediatric Emergency Rooms group. It comprised patients up to the age of 14 years who came to hospital emergency departments with pain and were treated with paracetamol, ibuprofen or opioids, such as codeine, tramadol and morphine. Results: We studied 1471 patients who were given 1593 doses of analgesics. The median time to administration of analgesia was 25 minutes. Opioids were used in 13.5% of the children, and usage increased with age and with more severe clinical conditions, such as trauma: 1.6% of children under two years, 5.9% aged 3–10 and 8.0% aged 11–14. Inappropriate doses of paracetamol, ibuprofen and opioids were used in 83%, 63% and 33% of cases, respectively. The patient's age was a critical determinant of the correct analgesic dosage; for every one-year increase in the patient's age, the probability of appropriate prescriptions rose 14.8%. Conclusion: The appropriate use of paracetamol and ibuprofen for paediatric pain in Italian emergency departments was very poor, but improved with age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1766-1774
Number of pages9
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume107
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018

Keywords

  • Child
  • Drug dosage
  • Emergency department
  • Pain
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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