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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2007 September;73(9):459-65

language: English

Methodologies for the treatment of acute and chronic nononcologic pain in children

Astuto M. 1, Rosano G. 1, Rizzo G. 1, Disma N. 1, Di Cataldo A. 2

1 Department of Anaesthesia, University Hospital, Catania, Italy;
2 Center of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital, Catania, Italy


Pain represents the most feared symptom of illness but for many years it has been underestimated in children. Only recently has analgesic treatment become an integral part in the assistance of ill children with acute pain, such as postoperative pain, and with chronic pain. Postoperative pain is a complication of surgery: postoperative pain prevention should replace the current theory and practice of postoperative treatment through the creation of “pain services” and adequate pain prevention planning. Pain prevention begins in the preoperative period, continues in the operating theaters and in the postoperative phase. A multimodal approach should employ techniques of loco-regional anesthesia using a variety of agents from opioids to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol. The techniques we currently use to control procedural pain are both medical and nonmedical. Nonmedical interventions such as distraction, muscular relaxation, and guided imagination for pain control are psychological techniques showing very good results in those children who must undergo various procedures. The medical treatment must guarantee both sedation and effective analgesia. Our medical approach includes local anaesthesia, conscious sedation, deep sedation, and general anaesthesia.

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