A Survey of Wilderness Medicine Analgesia Practice Patterns

Steven G. Schauer, Jason F. Naylor, Derek J. Brown, Robert V. Gibbons, Ian Syndergaard, Tracy Cushing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: In 2014, the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) published guidelines for the treatment of acute pain in remote settings. We surveyed wilderness medicine providers on self-reported analgesia prescribing practices. Methods: We conducted a prospective, anonymous survey. Respondents were recruited from the WMS annual symposium in 2016. All willing attendees were included. Results: During the symposium, we collected a total of 124 surveys (68% response rate). Respondent age was 42±12 (24–79) years (mean±SD with range), 58% were male, and 69% reported physician-level training. All respondents had medical training of varying levels. Of the physicians reporting a specialty, emergency medicine (59%, n=51), family medicine (13%, n=11), and internal medicine (8%, n=7) were reported most frequently. Eighty-one (65%) respondents indicated they prefer a standardized pain assessment tool, with the 10-point numerical rating scale being the most common (54%, n=67). Most participants reported preferring oral acetaminophen (81%, n=101) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) (91%, n=113). Of those preferring NSAID, most reported administering acetaminophen as an adjunct (82%, n=101). Ibuprofen was the most frequently cited NSAID (71%, n=88). Of respondents who preferred opioids, the most frequently preferred opioid was oxycodone (26%, n=32); a lower proportion of respondents reported preferring oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (9%, n=11). Twenty-five (20%, n=25) respondents preferred ketamine. Conclusions: Wilderness medicine practitioners prefer analgesic agents recommended by the WMS for the treatment of acute pain. Respondents most frequently preferred acetaminophen and NSAIDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-214
Number of pages4
JournalWilderness and Environmental Medicine
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • austere
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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