Background and Aims Knowledge about safe and effective management of pain in children is well known and documented. There is still a gap between knowledge and everyday practice. It seems children are still getting less analgesia than adults and newborn and infants less than children.
We conducted an audit/survey to get an overview of current analgesia practice for painful procedures in cildren.
Methods We used a questionnaire, in a paper and also online format, and distributed it to nursing and midwifery staff, Paediatric and GP junior doctors, and consultants working in Paediatric departments in hospitals in the South West of London. It included general questions about the perception of pain and also specific scenarios looking into the use of analgesia for a variety of procedures in children of different ages.
Results The amount of analgesia used was highest in the age group over one year and lowest in the newborn and one to four months groups. Throughout the different age groups, venepunctures were among the procedures when analgesia was used most often. Analgesia for intramuscular injections and lumbar punctures was never or only rarely used in the groups up to 4 months. Regardless of age, the procedure most commonly performed without analgesia was intramuscular injections.
Conclusions Use and knowledge of analgesia for painful procedures in children is still not optimal. We suggest that Paediatric department should offer better training for junior staff and also include a session on this topic as part of departmental induction programmes for new staff.