Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Pain assessment in PICU and NICU: Have we got it right?
Title of the conference
ESPNIC 2013, 24th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care, Caring without Borders
Rotterdam, Netherlands, June 12-15, 2013
Pain assessment in critically ill infants and nonverbal children remains a challenge for health professionals. Despite the numerous pain observational measures that have been developed or adapted for infants and children with impaired communication, pain prevalence in paediatric and neonatal intensive care unit remains too high. As pain assessment has been recognised as a pre-requisite for appropriate pain management, much effort was put in the validation or the adaptation of pain measures with little emphasis on implementation of these instruments into practice. Only a few studies demonstrated the benefit of using standardised protocols for the management of pain to guide practice with variable effects. When standardised protocols are undeniably useful in practice, they do not replace health professionals' clinical reasoning necessary to care for individuals. The diversity of the PICU population makes that pain scores need to be interpreted within its clinical context. This session will present pain assessment as a complex transaction that describes structured clinical reasoning from expert nurses that goes beyond the "silver" standard of hetero-evaluation of pain in non-communicative children. Besides pain scores, several patients and nurses factors play a major role in making decisions about analgesia and/or sedation. Patient's clinical instability, change in patient's clinical status, source for observed agitated behaviour, patient's known reactions to analgesia and sedation and anticipation of risks are factors that should be taken into account when implementing pain assessment and management guidelines in PICU and NICU.
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