Background: Majority of the patients presenting to emergency department (ED) have pain. ED oligoanalgesia remains a challenge. Aims: This study aims to study the effect of implementing a protocol-based pain management in the ED on (1) time to analgesia and (2) adequacy of analgesia obtained. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study in the ED. Methods: Patients aged 18-65 years of age with pain of numeric rating scale (NRS) ≥4 were included. A series of 100 patients presenting before introduction of the protocol-based pain management were grouped 'pre-protocol,' and managed as per existing practice. Following this, a protocol for management of all patients presenting to ED with pain was implemented. Another series of 100 were grouped as 'post-protocol' and managed as per the new pain management protocol. The data of patients from both the groups were collected and analyzed. Statistical Analysis Used: Descriptive statistical tests such as percentage, mean and standard deviation and inferential statistical tests such as Pearson coefficient, Student's t-test were applied. Differences were interpreted as significant when P < 0.05. Results: Mean time to administer analgesic was significantly lesser in the postprotocol group (preprotocol 20.30 min vs. postprotocol 13.05 min; P < 0.001). There was significant difference in the pain relief achieved (change in NRS) between the two groups, with greater pain relief achieved in the postprotocol group (preprotocol group 4.6800 vs. postprotocol group 5.3600; P < 0.001). Patients' rating of pain relief (assessed on E5 scale) was significantly higher in the postprotocol group (preprotocol 3.91 vs. postprotocol 4.27; P = 0.001). Patients' satisfaction (North American Spine Society scale) with the overall treatment was also compared and found to be significantly higher in postprotocol group (mean: preprotocol 1.59 vs. postprotocol 1.39; P = 0.008). Conclusion: Protocol-based pain management provided timely and superior pain relief.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Emergency Medicine