Pain Reduction Emergency Protocol A Prospective Study Evaluating Impact of a Nurse-initiated Protocol on PainManagement and Parental Satisfaction

Alessandra Guiner, Megan H. Street, Oluwaesun Oke, Virginia B. Young, Halim Hennes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Pain control remains suboptimal in pediatric emergency departments (EDs). Only 60% of pediatric patients requiring pain medications receive them in the ED, with an average time of administration being 90minutes after arrival. Although pain protocols (PP) have been proposed and evaluated in children with long-bone fractures, data on PP utility for general pediatric patients with acute pain are limited. Our objective is to introduce a nursing-initiated PP with medication algorithms for use in triage, measure the improvement in management of severe pain on arrival to the ED and determine the effect on parental satisfaction. Methods: Prospective prestudy and poststudy conducted from June to October 2017. Patients aged 3 to 17 years presenting to a large tertiary pediatric ED with acute pain were eligible. Preprotocol demographics, clinical data, and pain interventions were obtained over a 6-week period. A convenience sample of parents completed a satisfaction survey rating their experiencewith ED painmanagement during this time. In the 4-week intervention phase, the PP was introduced to our ED nurses. Postintervention data were collected in the same fashion as the preintervention phase. Analysis was done using independent sample t test and ?2 models. Results: There were 1590 patients evaluated: preprotocol (n = 816), postprotocol (n = 774). Approximately 10% more patients with severe pain received pain medication in the post-PP sample compared with pre-PP (85.6% and 75.9% respectively). Parental satisfaction was higher in patients who received analgesic medications within 90 minutes of arrival to the ED (P = 0.007). Conclusions: The introduction of a PP in the ED setting improved the treatment of pain. There was a significant increase in patients with severe pain receiving analgesic medications. Additionally, parents were more satisfied if their children received pain medication in a more timely fashion. Pediatric EDs should consider introducing PPs to improve appropriate and timely administration of pain medication in triage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E157-E164
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Nurse-initiated protocol
  • Pain
  • Pain control
  • Pain protocol
  • Triage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Pain Reduction Emergency Protocol A Prospective Study Evaluating Impact of a Nurse-initiated Protocol on PainManagement and Parental Satisfaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this