Evaluating the Implementation Barriers of an Intranasal Fentanyl Pain Pathway for Pediatric Long-Bone Fractures

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Abstract

Objectives

This study aimed to assess physician comfort, knowledge, and implementation barriers regarding the use of intranasal fentanyl (INF) for pain management in patients with long-bone fractures in a pediatric emergency department (ED) with an INF pain pathway.

Methods

A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients, 3 to 21 years old, in our ED with an International Classification of Diseases-9th Revision code for a long-bone fracture from September 1, 2013, to August 31, 2015. Patients were divided into 4 groups: (1) received INF on the pathway appropriately; (2) “missed opportunities” to receive INF, defined as either INF was ordered and then subsequently canceled (for pain ratings, ≥6/10), or INF was ordered, cancelled, and intravenous (IV) morphine given, or INF was not ordered and a peripheral IV line was placed to give IV morphine as first-line medication; (3) peripheral IV established upon ED arrival; (4) no pain medication required. Additionally, a survey regarding practice habits for pain management was completed to evaluate physician barriers to utilization of the pathway.

Results

A total of 1374 patients met the inclusion criteria. Missed opportunities were identified 41% of the time. Neither younger patient age nor more years of physician experience in the ED were associated with increased rates of missed opportunities. The survey (95% response rate) revealed greater comfort with and preference for IV morphine over INF.

Conclusions

The high rate of missed opportunities, despite the implementation of an INF pain pathway, indicates the need for further exploration of the barriers to utilization of the INF pain pathway.

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