Purpose: In this prospective, randomized, double-blinded study we sought to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combined use of intravenous ketorolac and acetaminophen in small children undergoing outpatient inguinal hernia repair. Materials and Methods: We studied 55 children 1 to 5 years old who were undergoing elective repair of unilateral inguinal hernia. After induction of general anesthesia children in the experimental group (28 patients) received 1 mg/kg ketorolac and 20 mg/kg acetaminophen intravenously. In the control group (27 patients) the same volume of saline was administered. All patients received 1 μg/kg fentanyl intravenously before incision. We also evaluated the number of patients requiring postoperative rescue fentanyl, total fentanyl consumption, pain scores and side effects. Results: Significantly fewer patients receiving ketorolac-acetaminophen received postoperative rescue fentanyl compared to controls (28.6% vs 81.5%). A significantly lower total dose of fentanyl was administered to patients receiving ketorolac-acetaminophen compared to controls (0.54 vs 1.37 μg/kg). Pain scores were significantly higher in the control group immediately postoperatively but eventually decreased. The incidences of sedation use (55.6% vs 25.0%) and vomiting (33.3% vs 10.7%) were significantly higher in controls. Conclusions: Preoperative intravenous coadministration of ketorolac and acetaminophen is a simple, safe and effective method for relieving postoperative pain, and demonstrates highly significant fentanyl sparing effects in small children after outpatient inguinal hernia repair.
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