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Racial Differences Found in Managing Children's Pain From Broken Bones

Minority children less likely to receive opioids and optimal pain management versus white children

MONDAY, April 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There are racial differences in pain management and pain outcomes for children seen in the emergency department for long-bone fractures, according to a study published online April 20 in Pediatrics.

Monika K. Goyal, M.D., from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues used data from the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network Registry (seven emergency departments) to assess racial and ethnic differences in emergency department pain management of children with long-bone fractures.

The researchers found that overall, patients reported moderate-to-severe pain during 21,069 visits; during these visits, 86.1 percent of children received an analgesic and 45.4 percent received opioids. For the 8,533 patients with reassessment of pain, 62.2 percent experienced optimal pain reduction. Compared with non-Hispanic white children, minority children were more likely to receive any analgesics (African American: adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.72; Hispanic: aOR, 1.32) and achieve at least a 2-point reduction in pain (African American: aOR, 1.42; Hispanic: aOR, 1.38). However, minority children were less likely to receive opioids (African American: aOR, 0.86; Hispanic: aOR, 0.86) or achieve optimal pain reduction (African American: aOR, 0.78; Hispanic: aOR, 0.80).

"When looking at optimal pain reduction, minority children were more likely to be discharged home in significant pain compared to their white counterparts," Goyal said in a statement.

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