Table 2

Aspects covered in local guidelines in sites where guidelines were in line with RCEM,4 n=21

No of sites (%)
Dosages for different ages groups21 (100)
Use of pain scales18 (86)
Use of a standardised pain ladder*18 (86)
Contraindications to specific analgesic agents18 (86)
Monitoring of vital signs with opioid analgesia17 (81)
Non-pharmacological management of pain15 (71)
Monitoring of sedation level with opioid analgesia14 (67)
Preferred analgesia for specific conditions12 (57)
Frequency of pain assessment11 (52)
Discharge criteria after opioid analgesia11 (52)
Referral process based on pain score7 (33)
  • *Pain ladder: contains objective and/or subjective descriptions with a numerical scale to quantify pain.

  • RCEM, Royal College of Emergency Medicine.