The "ouchless emergency department". Getting closer: advances in decreasing distress during painful procedures in the emergency department

Pediatr Clin North Am. 1999 Dec;46(6):1215-47, vii-viii. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(05)70184-x.


Painful and frightening injuries and illnesses are frequent reasons for children to seek care in an emergency department. Painful therapeutic procedures are often a necessary part of emergency care and are very distressful for the children, their parents, and healthcare providers. Inadequately relieved pain and distress have acute and long-term consequences, yet methods for pain and anxiety reduction during frightening minor and major procedures are often not used because of lack of detailed knowledge of techniques and fear of adverse effects. This article reviews psychologic and pharmacologic means of safe and effective reduction of anxiety and pain during emergency department procedures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Treatment / trends*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Infant
  • Infusion Pumps
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Parents
  • Radiography, Abdominal
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • United States


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives