Although pain management in EDs has been fully addressed in clinical trials, prehospital settings have rarely been investigated.
The present study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of intravenous acetaminophen with that of ketorolac in pre-hospital pain control.
This randomized clinical trial (RCT) was performed at a prehospital setting during EMS missions in Tehran, Iran. The eligible candidates comprised all patients over the age of 7 years with a complaint of moderate to severe pain. The patients were randomly assigned to two groups, one receiving 30 mg of intravenous (IV) ketorolac and the other 1 g of IV acetaminophen. The pain intensity was measured using a visual analog scale (VAS) before administering the analgesic and upon admission to the ED.
The present study was conducted on 150 patients aged 8-81 years with a mean age of 40.4 ± 17.7, including 84 (56%) males. The mean reduction in the pain score was 14.9±8.6 in the acetaminophen group and 16.0±8.8 in the ketorolac group. Univariate analyses suggested no statistically significant differences between the two groups in terms of delta pain score (pain reduction) (P=0.429).
Based on the obtained findings, both ketorolac and acetaminophen could be administered for pain management in prehospital settings in both traumatic and non-traumatic patients in case their contraindications are considered.