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.
Schauer, S. G., Naylor, J. F., Brown, D. J., Gibbons, R. V., Syndergaard, I., & Cushing, T. (2018). A Survey of Wilderness Medicine Analgesia Practice Patterns. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 29(2), 211–214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wem.2018.01.009