Original Article

Investigations of pain status in children admitted to pediatric critical care in a tertiary medical center in Ethiopia


  • Dawit Seyoum
  • Dessalegn Massa
  • Mitsiwa Ruffo
  • Sitota Ganjula
  • Million Tesfaye Eshete
  • Tewodros Eyob

Received Date: 26.05.2014 Accepted Date: 11.07.2014 Gulhane Med J 2015;57(4):388-391

The pain status of hospitalized pediatric patients in Ethiopia remains unstudied. This hospital based prospective survey assessed 162 children for pain before, at and after admission using previously validated age specific pain assessment tools. Sociodemographic, clinical and treatment profile of patients were abstracted from charts and interview. The aim was to describe the prevalence, severity, documentation and treatment of pain at Jimma University Hospital during April 1 to May 25, 2013. At admission moderate to severe pain prevalence was 90.1% at admission. Analgesics were prescribed for 44 of the children only, while 2 received combination of paracetamol and Tramadol. Only 11.1% of the patients were brought within the first 24 hrs of the onset of pain. There were no any pre-procedure (pre-emptive) analgesics given to all infants and children. Despite this, pain was assessed and documented for 47.5% of the children. The prevalence of pain in pediatrics was quite high and was under assessed, undertreated and undocumented. A further research might explore the impact of the gaps observed at the level of assessment, documentation and treatment of pain.

Keywords: Ethiopia, pediatrics, infant, children, pain, prevalence