The American Pain Society recently released its first clinical guidelines for the management of post-operative pain.
Pain Medicine News reports that the standards, crafted by a 23-member committee with help from American Society of Anesthesiologists, were based reviews of 6,500 scientific studies and abstracts. They were subsequently approved by the American Society for Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.
Roger Chou, an Oregon physician and lead author of the guidance, told PMN that studies showed that most surgery patients do not receive adequate treatment for post-operative pain.
Of the 80 percent that reported pain after surgery, three-quarters classified it as moderate or severe and half said that it is not appropriately managed. Chou said those situations could raise the risk of physical complications or mood disorders after surgery.
The 32 recommendations range from specific drug administration preferences to pre-operative assessments and individual patient plans.
They particularly target the use of multiple therapies, including non-pharmacological options such as education, relaxation techniques and music.
Chou said that such methods “tend to be underused in many centers” and are shown to curb the consumption of opiates — although the goal would aim to avoid opiates’ side effects rather than reduce the risk of addiction.
“The most important takeaway for all involved is that a systems-based approach is needed for the best outcomes and that postoperative pain care begins before surgery,” Seattle anesthesiologist Daniel Warren told PMN.
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