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scientific articles

A Multiyear Cross-Sectional Study of Guideline Adherence for the Timeliness of Opioid Administration in Children With Sickle Cell Pain Crisis

key information

source: Annals of Emergency Medicine

year: 2020

authors: David C. Brousseau, Elizabeth R. Alpern, James M. Chamberlain, Angela M. Ellison, Lalit Bajaj, Daniel M. Cohen, Selena Hariharan, Lawrence J. Cook, Monica Harding, Julie Panepinto


Study objective:
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute evidence-based guidelines for timeliness of opioid administration for sickle cell disease (SCD) pain crises recommend an initial opioid within 1 hour of arrival, with subsequent dosing every 30 minutes until pain is controlled. No multisite studies have evaluated guideline adherence, to our knowledge. Our objective was to determine guideline adherence across a multicenter network.

We conducted a multiyear cross-sectional analysis of children with SCD who presented between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2018, to 7 emergency departments (EDs) within the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network. Visits for uncomplicated pain crisis were included, defined with an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) and ICD-10 code for SCD crisis and receipt of an opioid, excluding visits with other SCD complications or temperature exceeding 38.5°C (101.3°F). Times were extracted from the electronic record. Guideline adherence was assessed across sites and calendar years.

A total of 4,578 visits were included. The median time to first opioid receipt was 62 minutes (interquartile range 42 to 93 minutes); between the first and second opioid receipt, 60 minutes (interquartile range 39 to 93 minutes). Overall, 48% of visits (95% confidence interval 47% to 50%) were guideline adherent for first opioid. Of 3,538 visits with a second opioid, 15% (95% confidence interval 14% to 16%) were guideline adherent. Site variation in adherence existed for time to first opioid (range 22% to 70%) and time between first and second opioid (range 2% to 36%; both P<.001). There was no change in timeliness to first dose or time between doses across years (P>.05 for both).

Guideline adherence for timeliness of SCD treatment is poor, with half of visits adherent for time to first opioid and one seventh adherent for second dose. Dissemination and implementation research/quality improvement efforts are critical to improve care across EDs.

organization: Medical College of Wisconsin, USA; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, USA; Children’s National Hospital, USA; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA; University of Colorado, USA; Nationwide Children’s, USA; University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, USA; University of Utah, USA

DOI: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2020.08.006

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