A prospective study of parents' compliance with their child's prescribed analgesia following tonsillectomy

March 24, 2013
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Abstract

We conducted a prospective study to assess how well parents ensured that their children received their prescribed analgesia following tonsillectomy. Our study was based on 69 cases of tonsillectomy that were carried out at our tertiary pediatric care center. Postoperatively, all patients were prescribed paracetamol (acetaminophen) on the basis of their weight; the standard pediatric dosage of this agent at the time of our study was 60 mg/kg/day. The parents were telephoned 2 weeks postoperatively to assess their compliance with this regimen. Of the original 69 patients who had been recruited, 66 completed the study-35 girls and 31 boys, aged 2 to 15 years (mean: 7.0; median 5.5). According to the parents, only 15 children (22.7%) received our recommended 60-mg/kg/day dosage and were thus determined to be fully compliant. Overall, parents reported a wide variation in the amount of drug administered, ranging from 12.5 to 111.0 mg/kg/day (mean: 44.8), indicating that parents often underdose their children. We recommend that more emphasis be placed on weight-directed, parent-provided analgesia during the post-tonsillectomy period.

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