The effectiveness of a pain and anxiety protocol to treat the acute pediatric burn patient

Stephen L. Ratcliff, Ayanna Brown, Laura Rosenberg, Marta Rosenberg, Rhonda S. Robert, Luis J. Cuervo, Cynthia Villarreal, Christopher R. Thomas, Walter J. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


This retrospective review of 286 acute pediatric burn survivors treated in 2001 evaluated the effectiveness of a pharmacotherapeutic protocol for pain, anxiety, and itching. Background pain, procedural pain, exercise pain, anxiety, incidence of acute stress disorder (ASD), and itch were measured with standardized instruments. When this review was compared to similar reviews done in 1993-1994 and 1998, a steady trend toward using more potent pain medications in this patient population is evident. While the use of acetaminophen alone decreased from 50.6% of patients in 1993-1994 and 26.3% in 1998 to 7.3% in 2001, the use of opiates increased from 44.8% in 1993-1994 and 66.9% in 1998 to 81.3% of patients in 2001. Likewise, the use of benzodiazepines for anxiety has increased from 59.8% in 1998 to 77.5% of patients in 2001. During that same period the incidence of ASD decreased from 12.1% in 1993-1994 to 8.7% of patients in 2001. For effective pain and anxiety management, the average administered dose of lorazepam and morphine also increased, providing impetus to revise the pharmacotherapeutic pain protocol. Having a standard pain protocol furnishes a framework for periodic review and facilitates updating of pain and anxiety treatment practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-562
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Acetaminophen
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Burn
  • Children
  • Itching
  • Morphine
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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