Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 152--157

A prospective, non-interventional study of assessment and treatment adequacy of pain in the emergency department of a tertiary care cancer hospital

Departments of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Swapnil Y Parab
Departments of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.121529

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Introduction: Pain is the most common reason for emergency department (ED) visits by the cancer patients. Treatment inconsistency and inadequacy are reported worldwide in the management of ED pain. We conducted a non-interventional observational study of 100 patients visiting ED with moderate to severe pain in a tertiary care cancer center. Aims: The goal of this study was to describe the characteristics of pain and its treatment by oncologists in ED. Materials and Methods: Management of 100 adult patients with complaints of moderate to severe pain was observed by the investigator in ED. Treatment was provided by the doctors of respective oncological services. Later, patients were interviewed by the investigator to collect data about the details of their pain and treatment adequacy. Results: On arrival to ED, about 65% patients reported severe pain, however no formal pain assessment was performed and no patient received strong opioids. Poor compliance for prescribed analgesic medications was noted in a large number of patients (31%), primarily due to suboptimal pain relief and lack of awareness. Protocol based analgesic treatment was non-existent in ED. Majority of patients remained in significant pain after 30 min of analgesic administration and 24% patients could never achieve more than 50% pain relief at the time of discharge. Conclusion: Due to lack of formal pain assessment and laid down protocols, suboptimal pain management is commonly prevalent in ED. Use of strong opioids continues to be scarce in management of severe pain. There is a need to formulate pain management protocols for ED pain.


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Online since 1st October '05
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