Does the use of intravenous (IV) analgesia affect diagnostic accuracy in children with acute abdominal pain of unknown cause?
Multiple studies with adults and children have shown that giving IV narcotics at adequate doses to decrease pain does not adversely affect the physical examination or diagnostic accuracy in patients with abdominal pain of unknown cause. In fact, pain control might facilitate localization of the origin of the pain, thereby improving the diagnostic accuracy of the physical examination. Therefore, avoid delaying administration of proper analgesia simply because the diagnosis is unknown or the child is awaiting examination by a consultant.
Anderson M, Collins E: Analgesia for children with acute abdominal pain and diagnostic accuracy. Arch Dis Child 2008;93:995-997.
Green R, Bulloch B, Kabani A, et al: Early analgesia for children with acute abdominal pain. Pediatrics 2005;116:978-983.