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Early analgesia for children with acute abdominal pain did not affect management or outcome

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 17 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:0-e

Research question Does pain relief mask the symptoms and signs of appendicitis in children with abdominal pain?

Answer In a small randomised trial, intravenous morphine had no measurable effect on the management of such children or their outcomes

Why did the authors do the study? Children who present to emergency departments with abdominal pain are rarely given pain relief because doctors worry that it could mask the symptoms and signs of appendicitis. Trials have already suggested that this doesn't happen in adults, and practice is changing. These authors wanted to find out if it's safe to give analgesia to children.

What did they do? One hundred …

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