Objective: The aim of this study was to establish the impact of patient sex on the provision of analgesia by paramedics for patients reporting pain in the prehospital setting. Methods: This retrospective cohort study of paramedic patient care records included all adult patients with a Glasgow Coma Score higher than 12 transported to hospital by ambulance in a major metropolitan area over a 7-day period in 2005. Data collected included demographics, patient report of pain and its type and severity, provision of analgesia by paramedics, and type of analgesia provided. The outcomes of interest were sex differences in the provision ofanalgesia. Data analysis was by descriptive statistics, χ2 test, and logistic regression. Results: Of the 3357 patients transported in the study period, 1766 (53%) reported pain; this forms the study sample. Fifty-two percent were female, median age was 61 years, and median initial pain score (on a 0-10 verbal numeric rating scale) was 6. Forty-five percent of patients reporting pain did not receive analgesia (791/1766) (95% confidence interval [CI], 43%-47%), with no significant difference between sexes (P = .93). There were, however, significant sex differences in the type of analgesia administered, with males more likely to receive morphine (17%; 95% CI, 15%-20%) than females (13%; 95% CI, 11%-15%) (P = .01). The difference remains significant when controlled for type of pain, age, and pain severity (odds ratio, 0.61, 95% CI, 0.44-0.84). Conclusion: Sex is not associated with the rate of paramedic-initiated analgesia, but is associated with differences in the type of analgesia administered.
Field of Research
111799 - Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified