Pain relief drug trial aims to get quicker treatment to ambulance patients

The Singapore General Hospital and Singapore Civil Defence Force are collaborating in a trial of two pain-relieving drugs which will be administered to injury victims before they enter the ambulance.

Penthrox, which is given by inhaler, and Tramadol, which is injected, will be taken to the victim's side in an effort to give quicker pain relief.

Typically, paramedics carry about 15-20kg of trauma equipment out of the ambulance while heavy canisters of nitrous oxide - or laughing gas - which are used to relieve pain are left in the vehicle.

The trial will last a year and is expected to involve around 400 trauma cases and 30 of the SCDF's ambulance fleet.

Patients will be asked to rank their pain scores at five-minute intervals after the drug has been administered to determine their effect.

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