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Pre-hospital pain management in children

What are the predictors, barriers and facilitators to effective management of acute pain in children by ambulance services? 

What we are doing:

The aim of this research is to identify predictors, barriers and facilitators associated with effective pre-hospital pain management in children suffering acute pain and to identify ways to improve the quality of care. 

Why we are doing it:

Evidence suggests ambulance services are poor at managing acute pain in children.  In the UK 38% of children who report pain do not receive any treatment. In Australia 55% of children suffering severe pain do not receive analgesia.  We believe there is scope to improve the quality of care children receive, but before we can implement any changes, we need to fully understand the problem. 

What the benefits will be:

Once we understand the predictors, barriers and facilitators and have identified ways to improve pain management in children we can develop interventions for clinical practice.  This will improve the experience of children suffering acute medical and traumatic pain when attended by ambulance services.  This will also indirectly improve the experience of parents during these unexpected, highly stressful events. 

Who we are working with:

The research is being undertaken within the Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU) at the University of Lincoln.  The project is in collaboration with the East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust. 


Gregory Whitley, PhD student, Paramedic, University of Lincoln, East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust,