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Topical anaesthetic applied at triage reduced treatment time in children presenting to the emergency department with minor lacerations

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Q In children with simple lacerations, does application of topical local anaesthesia at triage reduce total treatment time in the emergency department (ED)?


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded (patients and physicians deciding on the method of wound repair and need for sedation or anaesthesia).

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

to discharge.

Embedded ImageSetting:

an urban paediatric ED in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Embedded ImagePatients:

183 children who were 1–10 years of age (mean age 4 y, 61% boys)* and had simple lacerations that might require wound repair under local anaesthesia. Exclusion criteria: wounds involving the digits, ears, penis, nose, or …

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  • * Based on 161 children included in analysis.

  • For correspondence: Professor A M Kelly, Department of Emergency Medicine, Western Hospital, Footscray, Victoria, 3011, Australia.

  • Source of funding: Emergency Medicine Foundation (Australia).