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World Journal of Emergency Medicine ›› 2020, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (2): 69-73.doi: 10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2020.02.001

Special Issue: Survey on Emergency Medicine

• Original Articles •     Next Articles

Availability and quality of procedural sedation and analgesia in emergency departments without emergency physicians: A national survey in the Netherlands

Maybritt I. Kuypers1, Adinda Klijn2, Nieke E. Mullaart-Jansen2, Frans B. Plötz3()   

  1. 1 Amsterdam University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    2 Emergency Department, Dijklanderziekenhuis, Hoorn, the Netherlands
    3 Department of Pediatrics, Tergooi Hospital, Blaricum, the Netherlands
  • Received:2019-07-16 Accepted:2019-12-20 Online:2020-04-01 Published:2020-04-01
  • Contact: Frans B. Plötz


BACKGROUND: Emergency physicians have been successful in implementing procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA) to treat emergency department (ED) patients who need to undergo painful procedures. However, 25% of the EDs in the Netherlands are not staffed by emergency physicians. The aim of this study was to investigate PSA availability and quality in EDs without emergency physicians.

METHODS: We performed an exploratory cross-sectional study amongst ED nurses and physicians in all 13 EDs without emergency physicians in the Netherlands. Data were gathered using a standardized questionnaire.

RESULTS: The response rate was 34.3% (148/432). Of the respondents, 84/148 (56.8%) provided adult PSA and 30/148 (20.3%) provided paediatric PSA. Main reasons for not providing PSA were insufficient numbers of trained staff to support PSA in the ED and insufficient training and exposure. The providers agreed significantly stronger when reflecting their PSA competencies in adults compared to paediatric patients.

CONCLUSION: The key to improve pain management in the ED-setting may lay in investing in continuous training of ED health care professionals and/or acquiring professionals who are both qualified in PSA and available in the ED.

Key words: Procedural sedation and analgesia, Emergency departments, Emergency physicians