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Hvidovre Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Investigating the use of physical restraint of children in emergency departments: A Scandinavian survey

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  • Julie Aaberg Lauridsen
  • Michele Lefort Sønderskov
  • Fredrik Hetmann
  • Annika Hamilton
  • Heli Salmi
  • Kim Wildgaard
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AIM: The aim of the study is to describe the current frequency of physical restraint and the use of analgesics and sedatives for treating paediatric pain in emergency departments (EDs) in Scandinavia.

METHODS: We performed a nation-wide electronic survey asking nurses in the emergency departments in Denmark, Norway and Sweden about their experience treating children in pain.

RESULTS: Responses from 103 Danish, Norwegian and Swedish nurses were included (79% response rate). Physical restraint was reported used at 79% [70.0-85.9] (N = 78) of the surveyed departments (DK: 96%, NO: 67%, SE: 77%) with two participants reporting daily use of physical restraint. Paracetamol was available at all departments and used most frequently. Sedation was available at 88% [78.8-92.0] of the departments with midazolam as the most recurrent sedative (83%, [74.8-89.4]). Seventy-three percent of respondents reported a need for better treatments. Lack of education was the most frequently reported obstacle for providing both pain treatment (29%) and sedation (43%) followed by lack of guidelines.

CONCLUSION: Physical restraint of children during painful procedures is used in the majority of Scandinavian emergency departments (79%). There appears to be a lack of local guidelines for both pain treatment and sedation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1116-1121
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Scandinavia, acute pain, analgesia, pediatric pain management

ID: 65017540