Nurse Practitioner-Administered Chloroprocaine in Children with Postoperative Pain

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Abstract

Background:

Pain is a complex physical and emotional experience. Therefore, assessment of acute pain requires self-report when possible, observations of emotional and behavioral responses and changes in vital signs. Peripheral nerve and epidural catheters often provide postoperative analgesia in children. Administration of chloroprocaine (a short acting local anesthetic) via a peripheral nerve or epidural catheter allows for a comparison of pain scores, observations of emotional and behavioral responses and changes in vital signs to determine catheter function.

Aims:

The aims of this study are to describe the use chloroprocaine injections for testing catheters; patient response; and how changes to pain management are guided by the patient response.

Methods:

This study describes the use of chloroprocaine injections to manage pain and assess the function of peripheral nerve or epidural catheters in a pediatric population. We examined 128 surgical patients, (0–25 years old), who received chloroprocaine injections for testing peripheral nerve or epidural catheters. Patient outcomes included: blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate and pain intensity scores.

Results:

There were no significant adverse events. The injection guided intervention by determining the function of regional analgesia in the majority (98.5%) of patients. Discussion: Chloroprocaine injections appear to be useful to evaluate functionality of peripheral nerve and epidural catheters after surgery in a pediatric population.

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