Intranasal sufentanil for the treatment of acute pain in a winter resort clinic

Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah
The American journal of emergency medicine (Impact Factor: 1.27). 05/2012; 30(9). DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2012.02.019
Source: PubMed


INTRODUCTION: Painful extremity injuries are common patient complaints in resort clinics, urgent care clinics, and emergency departments. We hypothesized that intranasal (IN) sufentanil could provide rapid, noninvasive, effective pain relief to patients presenting with acute extremity injuries. METHODS: This was an unblinded, nonrandomized, observational study that enrolled a convenience sample of patients presenting to a university-affiliated ski clinic with acute moderate to severe pain associated with a traumatic injury between the months of January and March 2011. Patients were excluded if they reported an allergy to sufentanil or had hypoxia, significant head injury, or hypotension. Nurses administered IN sufentanil using an IN atomizer device. The nurse recorded patient-reported pain scores (0-10 scale) on arrival and at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after administration of sufentanil. RESULTS: During the study period, 40 patients were enrolled; 75% were men. The average age was 32 years (range, 16-60 years). The average dose of sufentanil was 37.7 μg. Five patients (12.5%) were given additional IN analgesia. Average pain on arrival was 9 (on a 10-point scale), and the mean reduction in pain scores was 4.7 (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.67-5.57) at 10 minutes, 5.79 (95% CI, 4.81-6.77) at 20 minutes, and 5.74 (95% CI, 4.72-6.76) at 30 minutes. CONCLUSION: In this limited observational trial, IN sufentanil provided rapid, safe, and noninvasive pain relief to patients presenting with acute traumatic extremity injuries. Given the ease of administration, this may serve as a viable option for use in other settings, such as urgent care clinics and emergency departments.

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