Post-Surgical Pain in Children Can Be Effectively Managed

Use of evidence-based pain management strategies pre- and post-surgery found beneficial
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- For children undergoing surgery, implementation of evidence-based pain management strategies and the ability to identify children at risk are important for effective pain management, according to a study in the October issue of the AORN Journal.

Jacqueline D. Trudeau, M.D., of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues examined the findings of a postoperative pain management strategy quality improvement program implemented at the British Columbia Children's Hospital on the pain management of 173 pediatric patients. The program looked at whether quality pain control was achieved, as well as other factors, including whether the children were discharged with significant pain and how often they were referred to the institution's acute pain service.

The researchers found that 101 (70.1 percent) of the patients had a zero pain score upon admission to the post-anesthesia care unit, while 120 (83.3 percent) had pain scores of four or less out of 10. The minimization of post-surgical pain and low pain scores upon admission to the post-anesthesia care unit was attributed to the use of a range of evidence-based pain management strategies.

"Effective control of postoperative pain involves several preventive strategies that include preoperative analgesia, appropriate use of intraoperative analgesic techniques, and identification of children at risk for significant postoperative pain," the authors write. "Successful implementation of these techniques requires a multidisciplinary team approach involving the patient, the post-anesthesia care unit nurses, the anesthesia care provider, and other surgical team members."

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