• Discerning the age of a child

      Whitley, Gregory; Lord, Bill (2018-09)
      Abstract published with permission. In this comment, Gregory Whitley and Bill Lord note the disparity in age ranges used to define a 'child', across both clinical guidelines and research, and its significant implications for paramedic practice.
    • Does current pre-hospital analgesia effectively reduce paediatric pain within a uk ambulance service: a service evaluation

      Whitley, Gregory; Bath-Hextall, Fiona (2017-10)
      Introduction Pain is one of the most common symptoms presented by patients of all ages to ambulance services, however very few children receive analgesia. Analgesic treatment of pre-hospital injured children is viewed as ‘suboptimal’. The aim of this study was to explore current analgesia given to traumatically injured children in the pre-hospital setting and examine whether a clinically meaningful reduction in pain was achieved. Methods We evaluated electronic patient report forms over a two-year period (2013–2014) within a UK ambulance service NHS trust. All traumatically injured children within the age range 1–17 with a clinical impression of a fracture, dislocation, wound or burn were included. Patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale of <15 were excluded. The outcome measure was a reduction in numeric pain rating scale or Wong and Baker faces of ≥2 out of 10. Results Of the evaluable patients (n=11,317), 90.8% had a documented pain score, or a reason why a pain score could not be documented. For patients reporting pain (n=7483), 51.6% (n=3861) received analgesia, 9.6% (n=717) received no analgesia but did receive alternative treatment and 38.8% (n=2905) received no analgesia and no alternative treatment. Morphine sulphate IV, oral morphine, Entonox, paracetamol suspension and poly-analgesia all achieved a clinically meaningful median reduction in pain score; –3.0 (IQR, –5.0 to –2.0),–2.0 (–5.0 to –2.0),–2.0 (–4.0 to –1.0),–2.0 (–4.0 to 0.0) and –3.0 (–4.0 to –1.0), respectively. Conclusions Analgesia administered to traumatically injured children in the pre-hospital setting within this UK ambulance service NHS trust produces clinically meaningful reductions in pain for these patients. The concern is that a large number of patients received neither analgesia nor alternative treatment. There is a real need to identify barriers to analgesia administration in this patient group. https://emj.bmj.com/content/34/10/e2.3 This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2017-207114.8
    • What are the predictors, barriers and facilitators to effective management of acute pain in children by ambulance services? A mixed-methods systematic review protocol

      Whitley, Gregory; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Hemingway, Pippa; Law, Graham Richard (2018-09)
      Abstract published with permission. Introduction: The management of pain is complex, especially in children, as age, developmental level, cognitive and communication skills and associated beliefs must be considered. Without effective pain treatment, children may suffer long-term changes in stress hormone responses and pain perception and are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder. Pre-hospital analgesic treatment of injured children is suboptimal, with very few children in pain receiving analgesia. The aim of this review is to identify predictors, barriers and facilitators to effective management of acute pain in children by ambulance services. Methods: A mixed-methods approach has been adopted due to the research question lending itself to qualitative and quantitative inquiry. The segregated methodology will be used where quantitative and qualitative papers are synthesised separately, followed by mixed-methods synthesis (meta-integration). We will search from inception: MEDLINE, CINAHL and PsycINFO via EBSCOHost, EMBASE via Ovid SP, Web of Science and Scopus. The Cochrane Library, the Joanna Briggs Institute, PROSPERO, ISRCTN and ClinicalTrials.gov will be searched. We will include empirical qualitative and quantitative studies. We will exclude animal studies, reviews, audits, service evaluations, simulated studies, letters, Best Evidence Topics, case studies, self-efficacy studies, comments and abstracts. Two authors will perform full screening and selection, data extraction and quality assessment. GRADE and CERQual will determine the confidence in cumulative evidence. Discussion: If confidence in the cumulative evidence is deemed Moderate, Low or Very Low, then this review will inform the development of a novel mixed-methods sequential explanatory study which aims to comprehensively identify predictors, barriers and facilitators to effective pain management of acute pain in children within ambulance services. Future research will be discussed among authors if confidence is deemed High.