Treatment with analgesics for injured children is often not provided or delayed during prehospital transport.
Our aim was to evaluate racial and ethnic disparities with the use of opioids during transport of injured children.
We conducted a prospective study of injured children transported to 1 of 10 emergency departments from July 2019 to April 2020. Emergency medical services (EMS) providers were surveyed about prehospital pain interventions during transport. Our primary outcome was the use of opioids. We performed multivariate regression analyses to evaluate the association of patient demographic characteristics (race, ethnicity, age, and gender), presence of a fracture, EMS provider type (Advanced Life Support [ALS] or non-ALS) and experience (years), and study site with the use of opioids.
We enrolled 465 patients; 19% received opioids during transport. The adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for Black race and Hispanic ethnicity were 0.5 (95% CI 0.2-1.2) and 0.4 (95% CI 0.2-1.3), respectively. The presence of a fracture (AOR 17.0), ALS provider (AOR 5.6), older patient age (AOR 1.1 for each year), EMS provider experience (AOR 1.1 for each year), and site were associated with receiving opioids.
There were no statistically significant associations between race or ethnicity and use of opioids for injured children. The presence of a fracture, ALS provider, older patient age, EMS provider experience, and site were associated with receiving opioids.

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