Award for safer kids' pain relief

Wednesday 16 July 2014


The pharmacy team at the Medicines Safety Awards

The pharmacy team at Evelina London Children's Hospital has won a national award for developing a safer way to give children pain relief.

The team won at last night’s (Tuesday 15 July) Patient Safety and Care Awards in the Improving Safety in Medicines Management category.

Stephen Tomlin, consultant pharmacist, says: “Within any hospital there is a risk that children can be given too much or too little pain relief. Doctors and nurses have to do difficult calculations to work out the correct doses of pain relief. Giving too much pain relief can even be fatal.” 

The team developed special syringes that contain the right amount of pain relief for different weights so staff can quickly and easily choose the right syringe for each patient. The solution is given to the child using electronic pumps that deliver the pain relief over time.

It is the only known system of its kind in the world.

Stephen adds: “We’re thrilled to have won this award. It’s a simple but ingenious idea that means young patients are treated more quickly and safely. We hope the idea will be rolled out across the NHS.”

The amputee rehabilitation service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ were finalists in the Managing Long Term Conditions category of the awards. The team was praised by a patient for "giving something to aim for and achieve”.

Last updated: July 2014

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