An evaluation of the opioid analgesic tramadol (Zydol, Searle United Kingdom) was carried-out by ambulance paramedics to assess its efficacy in providing pain relief in the prehospital situation.
Type of subjects—Patients suffering severe pain from any cause uncontrolled by other simple methods.
Number of subjects—101 patients received tramadol and 41 patients served as a control. Study design—Random, open study.
Statistical tests—Pain score at scene and on arrival at hospital were compared using Fisher's exact tests (2 sides). Logistic regression analyses also were applied to other factors.
Pain scores improved for 93.1% of the tramadol treated patients and for 44.0% of the controls. A total of 30.7% of patients treated with tramadol complained of nausea after treatment compared with 17.1% before treatment and with 12.2% of the control patients.
Pain was significantly decreased by the administration of tramadol. It was safe with only minimal side effects, the major one being nausea. Suggestions are made for areas of further study.