Patterns of Analgesic Use in Trauma Patients in the ED

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The objective was to describe patterns of analgesic use for trauma patients treated in our emergency department (ED). We reviewed analgesic use in consecutive patients meeting American College of Surgeons (ACS) Trauma Center Guidelines. A comprehensive database was abstracted from this institution's Trauma Registry and medical records of each patient. A total of 38% (95% CI: 31-46%) of patients received analgesics. Time to administration of first dose of analgesia was 109 minutes (95% CI: 85-133). Women, patients with long bone and pelvic fractures, and those with a longer ED stay were most likely to receive analgesics. Patients with head trauma and those admitted to the intensive care unit were least likely to receive analgesics. Morphine was the most frequent analgesic used with an average total dose of 14 milligrams. A majority of patients meeting ACS Trauma Center Guidelines did not receive analgesics in the ED. (Am J Emerg Med 2002;20:298-302. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.)

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