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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Leykin Y. 1, Pellis T. 1, Ambrosio C. 1, Zanette G. 1, Malisano A. 1, Rapotec A. 2, Casati A. 3
1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Santa Maria degli Angeli University Affiliated Hospital, Pordenone, Italy;
2 Department of Perioperative Medicine, Emergency and Intensive Care, Cattinara University Hospital, Trieste, Italy;
3 Department of Anesthesiology, Azienda Ospedaliera di Parma, Parma, Italy
Aim. Despite routine postoperative pain management improves recovery and reduces postoperative morbidity and overall costs, and the availability of a large armamentarium of analgesic techniques and drugs, a significant portion of patients do not receive adequate postoperative pain control. We describe a recovery room (RR) based acute pain service model.
Methods. Guidelines on postoperative pain and therapeutic protocols were instituted in January 1999. The analgesic endpoint was a visual analogic scale (VAS) below 4 for all surgical patients for the first 48-72 h. The RR, run by one anesthesiologist and 2 nurses and one assistant, acted as a coordination centre. Discharge from the RR was subject to achieving effective analgesia. Nurses of each ward monitored VAS along with vital signs, administered rescue doses if necessary, and reported to the RR nurse when needed. RR nurses monitored the patient at least twice daily and reported to the anesthesiologist. We have distributed an anonymous questionnaire, within surgical wards, to both surgeons and nurses to evaluate their perception of pain management and of this acute pain service (APS) model.
Results.VAS was maintained significantly <4. Analgesic drug consumption increased between 1997, 2000 (first year of APS) and 2004. The auditing process confirmed the desire of all professional figures to be informed and involved in acute pain management as part of a coordinated and systematic approach to the surgical patient.
Conclusion. A RR-based APS can effectively act as coordinating centre for acute pain treatment without adjunctive personnel.