Paediatr Neonatal Pain. 2022 Dec 5;5(1):10-15. doi: 10.1002/pne2.12091. eCollection 2023 Mar.
Pediatric burns affect approximately 15-20 patients per 100 000 hospital admissions, but unfortunately there is a lack of evidence to guide optimal strategies for acute pain control. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether caudal analgesia with single injection of local anesthetics reduced pain medication consumption in pediatric patients who required surgical intervention for burn injuries. Retrospective data from patients <7 years old who had burn surgery in the operating rooms at a single regional burn center from 2013 to 2021 was obtained and analyzed. A 1:1 propensity-score matching method using nearest neighbor matching without replacement was utilized to create matched cohorts. Primary outcome was opioid consumption, which is presented as opioid equivalents divided by patient weight in kilograms, at 24 h after surgery. Comparing propensity-score matched groups, there were no statistically significant differences in adjusted morphine equivalents received by the caudal group (0.122 [0.0646;0.186]) and the no caudal group (0.0783 [0.0384;0.153]) at 24 h after surgery (p = 0.06). This is the first study to the best of our knowledge of the association of caudal analgesia in pediatric burn patients with postoperative pain control. The data showed an increase in pain medication consumption postoperative at 24 h and intraoperative for patients who received single injection caudal blocks, but when adjusted using propensity-score matching, the difference was no longer statistically significant.