The journal Chest will be publishing a series of five papers that discuss the need for a comprehensive approach to assessing and managing pain in the ICU.
The journal Chest will publish a series of five papers that discuss the need for a comprehensive approach to assessing and managing pain in the ICU.
The first two papers in the series were published in the April 9th issue of Chest and are titled “Evaluation of Pain in the ICU” and “Pain Management Principles in the Critically Ill.” The series has been developed by critical care experts from the Critical Care Institute of the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
The article series “reviews the complex nature of pain experienced by a critical care patient and details the benefits of taking a comprehensive approach to pain management one that combines pharmacotherapy with behavioral, social, and communication strategies, interdisciplinary teams, and family involvement.”
The critical care team often confronts a variety of pain management challenges, including caring for patients who are suffering from pain due to life-threatening illnesses or injuries, and effectively managing pain in critically ill patients who frequently have difficulty communicating their pain effectively to caregivers.
Because standard pain assessment tools may often be inadequate when employed in the treatment of critically ill patients, the report suggests the use of alternative pain assessment methods. These include:
In addition to accurately assessing pain in this patient population, the care team must also provide effective pain management, for which information is mostly unavailable.
Lead author Brian L. Erstad, PharmD, FCCM, explained in a news release that “Much of the research on pain medications has been conducted in non-ICU settings. The ICU clinician must extrapolate and apply this research to the care of critically ill patients who frequently have tenuous and rapidly changing clinical conditions that complicate pharmacotherapy decisions.”
The full-text versions of both articles are available free of charge here.