Pediatricians: Kids Suffering Needless Pain Post-Surgery 29343

Children who have appendectomies or broken limbs are not given adequate narcotic pain medication, which leads to more hospital re-admissions than necessary, a new study in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery has found.

Thirteen percent of kids under age 18 who had had appendectomies reported pain that lingered for months, reports.  "Children are not being given enough pain medication, and they're suffering needlessly," Dr. Zeev Kain, senior author of the study and a pediatric anesthesiologist at the University of California, Irvine, told CNN.

The issue is two-f0ld, researchers found, a combination of doctors being reticent to send powerful pain medications home with parents, and parents who are nervous about giving their children the painkillers.  But the study's authors say that if doctors educate parents and write short-term prescriptions, and if parents carefully follow their doctors' instructions about proper use of the drugs, their children can experience significant pain relief with minimal risk.