Objectives: The objective was to evaluate the use of a single 2 μg/kg dose of intranasal fentanyl as analgesia for painful orthopedic injuries in children presenting to a pediatric emergency department (ED).
Methods: This was a prospective, nonblinded interventional trial, in a convenience sample of patients 3 to 18 years of age seen in a tertiary care pediatric ED. All had clinically suspected fractures and were treated between July and November 2006. Eligible patients had moderate to severe pain based on initial pain scores using the Wong Baker Faces Scale (WBS) for patients aged 3-8 years or the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for patients aged 9-18 years. All enrolled patients received fentanyl via intranasal atomization. Pain scores were obtained at baseline and at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after intranasal fentanyl administration. Satisfaction scores were obtained using a 100-mm VAS. Vital signs and adverse events were recorded.
Results: Eighty-one patients were enrolled, 28 in the VAS group and 53 in the WBS group. The mean patient age was 8 years. Fracture locations included forearm, 38 (47%); supracondylar, 16 (20%); clavicle, 7 (9%); tibia/fibula, 5 (6%); and other, 15 (18%). In the WBS group, the median pain scores decreased from five faces (interquartile range [IQR] = 4-6) at baseline to three faces (IQR = 2-5) at 10 minutes, two faces (IQR = 1-4) at 20 minutes, and two faces (IQR = 1-3) at 30 minutes. The mean pain score in the VAS group at baseline was 70 mm (95% confidence interval [CI] = 63 to 77 mm). In this group, the pain scores decreased by a mean of 21 mm (95% CI = 14 to 28 mm) at 10 minutes, 25 mm (95% CI = 15 to 34 mm) at 20 minutes, and 27 mm (95% CI = 16 to 37 mm) at 30 minutes. Mean satisfaction scores were 79 mm for providers, 74 mm for parents, and 62 mm for patients. No adverse events were recorded.
Conclusions: Intranasal fentanyl at a dose of 2 μg/kg provides effective analgesia for pediatric ED patients with painful orthopedic trauma within 10 minutes of administration.
© 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.