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Children's Orthopaedics

Manipulation and reduction of paediatric fractures of the distal radius and forearm using intranasal diamorphine and 50% oxygen and nitrous oxide in the emergency department

a 2.5-year study

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A retrospective study was performed in 100 children aged between two and 16 years, with a dorsally angulated stable fracture of the distal radius or forearm, who were treated with manipulation in the emergency department (ED) using intranasal diamorphine and 50% oxygen and nitrous oxide. Pre- and post-manipulation radiographs, the final radiographs and the clinical notes were reviewed. A successful reduction was achieved in 90 fractures (90%) and only three children (3%) required remanipulation and Kirschner wire fixation or internal fixation.

The use of Entonox and intranasal diamorphine is safe and effective for the closed reduction of a stable paediatric fracture of the distal radius and forearm in the ED.

By facilitating discharge on the same day, there is a substantial cost benefit to families and the NHS and we recommend this method.

Take home message: Simple easily reducible fractures of the distal radius and forearm in children can be successfully and safely treated in the ED using this approach, thus avoiding theatre admission and costly hospital stay.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2016;97-B:131–6.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr T. Kurien; e-mail:

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