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jueves, 26 de mayo de 2016

Pain in Older Adults

ALiEM
5 Tips for Managing Pain in Older Adults
ALiEM - By Christina Shenvi - May 25th, 2016
Pain is the most common reason people seek care in Emergency Departments. In addition to diagnosing the cause of the pain, a major goal of emergency physicians (EPs) is to relieve pain. However, medications that treat pain can have their own set of problems and side effects. The risks of treatment are particularly pronounced in older adults, who are often more sensitive to the sedating effects of medications, and are more prone to side effects such as renal failure. EPs frequently have to find the balance between controlling pain and preventing side effects. Untreated pain has large personal, emotional, and financial costs, and more effective, multi-modal pain management can help reduce the burden that acute and chronic pain place on patients. There is evidence that older adults are less likely to receive pain medication in the ED. The first step to improving, is being aware of the potential tendency to under-treat pain in older adults. Here are 5 tips to help you effectively manage pain in older adults on your next shift.
  1. KNOW THE RISKS OF THE MEDICATIONS WE USE AND WHICH PATIENTS WILL BE AT HIGHEST RISK.
  2. BE ATTUNED TO SIGNS OF PAIN, AND ASK IF THE PATIENT NEEDS MORE TREATMENT.
  3. START LOW AND GO SLOW.
  4. TRY ALTERNATIVE PAIN CONTROL METHODS AND INVOLVE OTHER SPECIALTIES.
  5. HAVE A SAFE DISCHARGE PLAN.