CONTROLLING PAIN: Assessing complex pain behaviors
Mary Beth Kean RN, C, CNS, CRRN, MSN

December 2007 
Volume 37  Number 12
Pages 18 - 19
  PDF Version Available!


Kean, Mary Beth RN, C, CNS, CRRN, MSN

Mary Beth Kean is a clinical nurse specialist in pain management at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Tex.

QUESTION: I'm caring for a 62-year-old woman undergoing chemotherapy for metastatic cervical cancer. For about a month before her diagnosis, she was taking 10 Percocet tablets a day for back pain. She also has allodynia (pain caused by a stimulus that doesn't normally cause pain) in the lumbar spine area. During her hospitalization, she was treated with opioids and adjuvant medication for neuropathic and somatic pain.

She used a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump, which controlled her pain well with hydromorphone. When her pain rating was 2 on a 0-to-10 scale, she was converted to an equianalgesic long-acting opioid, and her PCA use decreased to an amount that allowed for easy coverage of breakthrough pain with short-acting analgesics. However, she became tearful and complained of excruciating pain ...

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