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Review: morphine, eutectic mixture of local anaesthetics, ketorolac, and sucrose reduce postoperative and procedural pain in children

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Question Which pharmacological interventions are effective for managing acute postoperative or procedural pain in children?

Data sources

Studies from 1987–96 were identified by searching Medline, CINAHL, CancerLit, and AIDSLINE using combinations of search terms including pain, analgesia, anesthetics, opioids, and age related terms (eg, neonate and toddler). Bibliographies of relevant articles were also reviewed.

Study selection

Studies were included if they tested a pharmacological intervention using a prospective design in a sample of ≥30 people <20 years of age who were randomly allocated to ≥2 groups. Studies had to provide adequate methodological and statistical details for review.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on type of pain, age of children, study design, type of intervention, outcomes and measurement approaches, and results.

Main results

41 studies of acute pain met the inclusion criteria. 22 studies focused on postoperative pain and 19 focused on pain associated with procedures (venipuncture, circumcision, …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr V Maikler, 600 South Paulina, Suite 1022, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Fax +1 312 942 2549.