‘This won’t hurt a bit!’ – A descriptive review of health care professionals’ pharmacological management of pain in minor trauma

South African Family Practice

Field Value
Title ‘This won’t hurt a bit!’ – A descriptive review of health care professionals’ pharmacological management of pain in minor trauma
Creator Havenga, Duncan M. Govender, Jaykumaran Lewis, Carolyn
Subject Family Medicine; Emergency Medicine; Rural medicine; primary care analgesia; trauma; emergency centre; developing countries; rural medicine.
Description Background: Emergency Centres (ECs) have a prominent trauma burden requiring effective pain management. This study aimed to review analgesia-prescribing habits in minor trauma, reviewing the patient demographics and diagnoses, analgesia-prescribing habits of health care professionals (HCPs) managing these cases, and differences in prescribing noted by patients’ age group, gender and triage code.Methods: A prospective, cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted in a regional EC in KwaZulu-Natal. HCPs managing minor trauma patients completed a closed-ended questionnaire which indicated the patients’ demographics, diagnosis and analgesia prescribed.Results: The study comprised of 314 cases of which the demographic most represented were male patients aged between 20–30 years with soft tissue injuries. Simple analgesics and weak opioids (paracetamol, ibuprofen and tramadol) accounted for 87.9% of prescriptions. Referral clinics prescribed less analgesics than that provided in the EC. There were mostly no significant differences in prescription habits by patients’ age group, gender and triage code.Conclusion: Presenting complaints in our study were varied and likely to result in mild to moderate pain. Only a minority of patients received analgesics at initial contact. Standardised protocols providing treatment guidance for nurse-initiated pain management at initial contact is thus important. There were no significant differences in analgesics prescribed for adults and the elderly, which is worrisome given the potential negative side effects of analgesics in the elderly. Similar concerns in our paediatric population were not noted. Ensuring adequate analgesia with cognisance for safety at the extremes of age is of paramount importance.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health Edendale Hospital Emergency Centre Staff
Date 2021-04-22
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion Peer-reviewed Article prospective cross-sectional descriptive study
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/safp.v63i1.5249
Source South African Family Practice; Vol 63, No 1 (2021): Part 2; 8 pages 2078-6204 2078-6190
Language eng
Relation https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5249/6708 https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5249/6707 https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5249/6709 https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5249/6705
Coverage Africa; South Africa; KwaZulu-Natal; Pietermaritzburg May 2019 - October 2019 Age; Gender; Triage code; Analgesia; Minor trauma
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Duncan Michael Havenga, Jaykumaran Govender, Carolyn Lewis https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0