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Postoperative Pain Management in Children of Hispanic Origin: A Descriptive Cohort Study.



It has been established that pain is frequently undertreated in children following outpatient surgery. Very few studies, however, have investigated this phenomenon in ethnically diverse populations.


This study included 105 families of children aged 2 to 15 years of Hispanic origin and low income undergoing outpatient tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy surgery. Participating parents completed baseline and demographic packets. Recorded postoperative pain ratings and administration of analgesics at home for 1 week were collected during home visits.


Despite the high (70%; 99% confidence interval [CI], 57%-82%) incidence of significant pain in the first 24 hours home, 32% (95% CI, 20%-45%) of the children received 0 to 1 dose of analgesia. Overall, 21% children (99% CI, 11%-35%) received 4 or less total doses of pain medication over the entire week after surgery. Of the total analgesic doses administered to children in the week after surgery, only 44% (99% CI, 40%-47%) were in accepted ranges.


Despite experiencing significant postoperative pain, Hispanic children assessed in this study received suboptimal analgesic therapy at home.

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