Analgesia for pediatric thoracostomy tube removal

David A. Rosen, John L. Morris, Kathleen R. Rosen, Roberto C. Valenzuela, Michele G. Vidulich, Robert J. Steelman, Robert A. Gustafson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Eutectic mixture of local anesthetics (EMLA®; Astra Pharmaceuticals, Wayne, PA) has been shown to reduce the pain of blood draws in children. We investigated the use of EMLA® versus IV morphine for providing analgesia during chest tube removal (CTR) in children. One hundred twenty pediatric cardiotharacic surgery patients were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either morphine (0.1 mg/kg up to 10 mg IV 30 min before CTR) or EMLA® cream (5 g per chest tube cutaneously 3 h before CTR). A single, trained observer rated the patient's pain before, during, and after CTR using a 10-cm visual analog scale. The sites were evaluated for adverse effect. Methylhemoglobin levels were monitored in infants. Before CTR, the pain scores of the children who received morphine were rated lower than those who received EMLA® (P < 0.01). During CTR, there was no difference in the pain score between the morphine or EMLA® group. The change from baseline pain score in the morphine group was significantly larger than in the EMLA® group (P < 0.01). We conclude that EMLA® is safe and useful for blunting the pain of CTR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1028
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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