Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-39

Pain management in COVID-19 pediatric patients—An evidence- based review

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, AIIMS, Rishikesh, India
2 Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery, AIIMS, Rishikesh, India
3 Professor and Principal, College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Priyanka Mishra
AIIMS Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_635_20

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Despite our growing knowledge about the COVID pandemic, not much concern has been focused upon the effective pain management in pediatric patients suffering from this SARS CoV2 virus. Symptoms with pain like myalgia (10%–40%), sore throat (5%–30%), headache (14%–40%) and abdominal pain (10%) are common in children suffering from COVID. (3-5) We conducted a systematic review regarding analgesia for COVID positive pediatric patients. Cochrane, PubMed, and Google scholar databases were searched for relevant literature. Owing to the novel status of COVID-19 with limited literature, we included randomized controlled trials (RCTs), observational studies, case series and case reports in the descending order of consideration. Articles in languages other than English, abstract only articles and non-scientific commentaries were excluded. The Primary outcome was evaluation of pain related symptoms and best strategies for their management. Our review revealed that a multidisciplinary approach starting from non-pharmacological techniques like drinking plenty of water, removing triggers like inadequate sleep, specific foods and psychotherapy including distraction, comfort and cognitive behavioural strategies should be used. Pharmacological approaches like acetaminophen, NSAIDS, spasmolytics etc. can be used if non-pharmacological therapy is inadequate. As per the current strength of evidence, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be safely administered for pain management in children with COVID-19. Undertreated pain is a significant contributor to increased morbidity and poor prognosis. Integration of evidence based non-pharmacotherapies in the multidisciplinary pain management will contribute towards improved functioning, early recovery and better quality care for pediatric patients suffering from COVID.

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