Current practice of acute pain management in children - a national follow-up survey in Germany

Emons, Miriam I; Petzke, Frank; Stamer, Ulrike; Meißner, Winfried; Koschwitz, Regina; Erlenwein, Joachim (2016). Current practice of acute pain management in children - a national follow-up survey in Germany. Pediatric anesthesia, 26(9), pp. 883-890. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/pan.12947

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OBJECTIVES This study aimed to summarize the current standard practices for acute pain management in children in Germany and the implementation of these procedures. The last survey on acute pain management in children was performed in 1999, highlighting the need for an up to date review. METHODS A questionnaire was mailed to German departments of anesthesiology (n = 885), asking for structures and processes of acute pain management in children. Results were compared between hospitals with and without an acute pain service and with and without a pediatric department. RESULTS Of the 407 responding hospitals (response rate of 46%), 342 treated children younger than 14 years. These were considered for analysis. Of the 342 hospitals, 42% contained either a general pediatric department or a department of pediatric surgery, and the majority of the responding hospitals had an acute pain service (83%). Pain intensities were measured at least once per shift in 40% of the institutions, and at least once or twice a day in 27%. Of the institutions, 31% did not document pain scores regularly, without any difference between hospitals with or without a pediatric department. Standard operating procedures for acute pain management existed in 68% of the hospitals, with large differences in content and length. Opioids were administered to children in 85% of the hospitals. Nonopioid analgesics were the first choice baseline analgesics in most hospitals. Peripheral regional and epidural analgesia were performed in children in 18% and 8% of the hospitals, respectively (21%/16% with a paediatric department, 16%/1% without; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION Current practice of pediatric pain management varied widely and the recommendations of guidelines, like regular pain management, were frequently not met. However, improvements could be observed since 1999, for example, an increase in regular pain measurements (4% vs 67%). Furthermore, pain management in hospitals running a pediatric department had a higher degree of organization, and more sophisticated analgesic techniques.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic and Policlinic for Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy

UniBE Contributor:

Stamer, Ulrike


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Jeannie Wurz

Date Deposited:

05 Sep 2016 11:13

Last Modified:

23 Jan 2018 12:13

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

NSAIDs; acute pain; child; opioids; quality improvement; regional




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