BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Time to opioid administration (TTO) has been suggested as a quality of care measure for sickle cell disease patients with vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC). We sought to determine whether TTO was associated with outcomes of emergency department (ED) visits for VOC.
METHODS: We conducted a single-center retrospective cohort study of ED visits for VOC. The primary outcome was hospital admission, with secondary outcomes of change between the first 2 pain scores, area under the curve [AUC] for pain scores at 4 hours (pain score AUC), total ED length of stay, and total intravenous opioids. In both univariate and multivariate analyses, mixed regression (logistic for admission, linear for secondary outcome variables) was used to evaluate association of TTO with outcome.
RESULTS: In 177 subjects, 414 ED visits for VOC were identified. Inpatient admission occurred in 53% of visits. The median TTO for admitted patients was 86 minutes vs 87 minutes for those not admitted. TTO was not associated with inpatient admission in either univariate or multivariate analyses. In multivariate analyses with secondary outcomes, decreased TTO was associated with greater improvement between the first 2 pain scores, decreased pain score AUC, decreased total ED length of stay, and increased total opioids.
CONCLUSIONS: Although TTO was not associated with admission, it was independently associated with 4 important secondary outcomes: change in initial pain scores, pain score AUC, total ED length of stay, and total intravenous opioids. The association of a process measure, TTO, with these outcomes encourages the institution of TTO reduction efforts in the ED.
- Accepted December 17, 2014.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics