Regional anaesthesia may reduce the rate of persistent postoperative pain (PPP), a frequent and debilitating condition. This review was originally published in 2012 and updated in 2017.
To compare local anaesthetics and regional anaesthesia versus conventional analgesia for the prevention of PPP beyond three months in adults and children undergoing elective surgery.
We conclude that there is moderate-quality evidence that regional anaesthesia may reduce the risk of developing PPP after three to 18 months after thoracotomy and three to 12 months after caesarean section. There is low-quality evidence that regional anaesthesia may reduce the risk of developing PPP three to 12 months after breast cancer surgery. There is moderate evidence that intravenous infusion of local anaesthetics may reduce the risk of developing PPP three to six months after breast cancer surgery.
Our conclusions are considerably weakened by the small size and number of studies, by performance bias, null bias, attrition and missing data. Larger, high-quality studies, including children, are needed. We caution that except for breast surgery, our evidence synthesis is based on only a few small studies. On a cautionary note, we cannot extend our conclusions to other surgical interventions or regional anaesthesia techniques, for example we cannot conclude that paravertebral block reduces the risk of PPP after thoracotomy. There are seven ongoing studies and 12 studies awaiting classification that may change the conclusions of the current review once they are published and incorporated.
Between 4% and 25% of school-aged children at some stage complain of recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) of sufficient severity to interfere with their daily lives. When no clear organic cause is found, the children are managed with reassurance and simple measures; a large range of pharmacological interventions have been recommended for use in these children.
There is currently no convincing evidence to support the use of drugs to treat RAP in children. Well-conducted clinical trials are needed to evaluate any possible benefits and risks of pharmacological interventions. In practice, if a clinician chooses to use a drug as a ‘therapeutic trial’, they and the patient need to be aware that RAP is a fluctuating condition and any ‘response’ may reflect the natural history of the condition or a placebo effect, rather than drug efficacy.
Tonic-clonic convulsions and convulsive status epilepticus (currently defined as a tonic-clonic convulsion lasting at least 30 minutes) are medical emergencies and require urgent and appropriate anticonvulsant treatment. International consensus is that an anticonvulsant drug should be administered for any tonic-clonic convulsion that has been continuing for at least five minutes. Benzodiazepines (diazepam, lorazepam, midazolam) are traditionally regarded as first-line drugs and phenobarbital, phenytoin and paraldehyde as second-line drugs.
This is an update of a Cochrane Review first published in 2002 and updated in 2008.
We have not identified any new high-quality evidence on the efficacy or safety of an anticonvulsant in stopping an acute tonic-clonic convulsion that would inform clinical practice. There appears to be a very low risk of adverse events, specifically respiratory depression. Intravenous lorazepam and diazepam appear to be associated with similar rates of seizure cessation and respiratory depression. Although intravenous lorazepam and intravenous diazepam lead to more rapid seizure cessation, the time taken to obtain intravenous access may undermine this effect. In the absence of intravenous access, buccal midazolam or rectal diazepam are therefore acceptable first-line anticonvulsants for the treatment of an acute tonic-clonic convulsion that has lasted at least five minutes. There is no evidence provided by this review to support the use of intranasal midazolam or lorazepam as alternatives to buccal midazolam or rectal diazepam.
Pediatric cervical spine injury (CSI) after blunt trauma is rare. Nonetheless, missing these injuries can have severe consequences. To prevent the overuse of radiographic imaging, two clinical decision tools have been developed: The National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study (NEXUS) criteria and the Canadian C-spine Rule (CCR). Both tools are proven to be accurate in deciding whether or not diagnostic imaging is needed in adults presenting for blunt trauma screening at the emergency department. However, little information is known about the accuracy of these triage tools in a pediatric population.
There are currently few studies assessing the diagnostic test accuracy of the NEXUS criteria and CCR in children. At the moment, there is not enough evidence to determine the accuracy of the Canadian C-spine Rule to detect CSI in pediatric trauma patients following blunt trauma. The confidence interval of the sensitivity of the NEXUS criteria between the individual studies showed a wide range, with a lower limit varying from 0.18 to 0.91 with a total of four false negative test results, meaning that if physicians use the NEXUS criteria in children, there is a chance of missing CSI. Since missing CSI could have severe consequences with the risk of significant morbidity, we consider that the NEXUS criteria are at best a guide to clinical assessment, with current evidence not supporting strict or protocolized adoption of the tool into pediatric trauma care. Moreover, we have to keep in mind that the sensitivity differs among several studies, and individual confidence intervals of these studies show a wide range. Our main conclusion is therefore that additional well-designed studies with large sample sizes are required to better evaluate the accuracy of the NEXUS criteria or the Canadian C-spine Rule, or both, in order to determine whether they are appropriate triage tools for the clearance of the cervical spine in children following blunt trauma.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) is common in infants, and feed thickeners are often used to manage it in infants as they are simple to use and perceived to be harmless. However, conflicting evidence exists to support the use of feed thickeners.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux is a physiological self resolving phenomenon in infants that does not necessarily require any treatment. However, we found moderate-certainty evidence that feed thickeners should be considered if regurgitation symptoms persist in term bottle-fed infants. The reduction of two episodes of regurgitation per day is likely to be of clinical significance to caregivers. Due to the limited information available, we were unable to assess the use of feed thickeners in infants who are breastfeeding or preterm nor could we conclude which type of feed thickener is superior.
Most tobacco control programmes for adolescents are based around prevention of uptake, but teenage smoking is still common. It is unclear if interventions that are effective for adults can also help adolescents to quit. This is the update of a Cochrane Review first published in 2006.
There is limited evidence that either behavioural support or smoking cessation medication increases the proportion of young people that stop smoking in the long-term. Findings are most promising for group-based behavioural interventions, but evidence remains limited for all intervention types. There continues to be a need for well-designed, adequately powered, randomized controlled trials of interventions for this population of smokers.
Paediatric neurodiagnostic investigations, including brain neuroimaging and electroencephalography (EEG), play an important role in the assessment of neurodevelopmental disorders. The use of an appropriate sedative agent is important to ensure the successful completion of the neurodiagnostic procedures, particularly in children, who are usually unable to remain still throughout the procedure.
The quality of evidence for the comparisons of oral chloral hydrate against several other methods of sedation was very variable. Oral chloral hydrate appears to have a lower sedation failure rate when compared with oral promethazine for children undergoing paediatric neurodiagnostic procedures. The sedation failure was similar for other comparisons such as oral dexmedetomidine, oral hydroxyzine hydrochloride, and oral midazolam. When compared with intravenous pentobarbital and music therapy, oral chloral hydrate had a higher sedation failure rate. However, it must be noted that the evidence for the outcomes for the comparisons of oral chloral hydrate against intravenous pentobarbital and music therapy was of very low to low quality, therefore the corresponding findings should be interpreted with caution.
Further research should determine the effects of oral chloral hydrate on major clinical outcomes such as successful completion of procedures, requirements for additional sedative agent, and degree of sedation measured using validated scales, which were rarely assessed in the studies included in this review. The safety profile of chloral hydrate should be studied further, especially the risk of major adverse effects such as bradycardia, hypotension, and oxygen desaturation.