Postoperative analgesics for children and adolescents: Prescription and administration

Mary D. Tesler, Diana J. Wilkie, William L. Holzemer, Marilyn C. Savedra

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59 Scopus citations


Pain was measured and analgesic treatment examined in 131 children and adolescents, 8-17 years of age, for 5 days after surgery. Analgesic data were converied to 10 mg intramuscular morphine-equivalent doses (IMMSEQ) and were designated appropriate or inappropriate for body weight. Analgesic onset, peak, and duration were calculated in relation to administration routes and the time pain assessments were made. Children reported moderately severe pain in many body locations. Initially, all but two children were prescribed and ultimately all but one received analgesics. Prescribed and administered doses were frequently less than doses recommended for weight. Two-thirds of the children were beyond analgesic action when pain was assessed. Weak to moderately strong associations were noted between IMMSEQ doses and pain intensity scores on each of the 5 postoperative days. Unfortunately, findings indicate that children continue to be undertreated when they experience postoperative pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


  • Children
  • administered
  • analgesic doses
  • postoperative pain
  • prescribed


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