To compare opioid use and pain scores in women who had scheduled cesarean birth before and after implementing a scheduled nonopioid analgesia practice guideline.
Quality improvement project with a comparison of pre-/postintervention.
A 170-bed community hospital where the administration of postcesarean pain medications was unstandardized.
Convenience sample of 175 individuals who were scheduled for cesarean birth (106 in preintervention group and 69 in postimplementation group).
All participants had received a dose of 150 mcg of intrathecal morphine intraoperatively. Care of participants in the postimplementation group included a new practice guideline using preoperative oral acetaminophen 1 g and postoperative intravenous ketorolac 30 mg that transitioned to ibuprofen 600 mg orally every 6 hours until discharge. Acetaminophen 1 g every 6 hours also continued until discharge. For breakthrough pain, oxycodone 5 mg to 10 mg was available.
Results were analyzed using the chi-square and t test. There was a statistical difference in the mean milligram morphine equivalent consumed after scheduled cesarean birth (preintervention = 21.15 vs. postintervention = 3.91, p < .001). Postimplementation, 84.1% of participants did not consume any opioids beyond the intrathecal dose compared to 47.2% of participants preintervention. Mean pain scores decreased from 2.49 to 1.62 (p < .001), and there was an observed decrease of the highest reported pain score from 5.39 to 4.03 (p < .001).
The results of this project support the current literature indicating that the administration of a scheduled nonopioid multimodal analgesia regimen to individuals with scheduled cesarean birth is an effective postoperative pain management strategy. This approach to managing surgical birth pain can decrease subjective reports of pain and overall opioid consumption during the hospital stay.