Pain assessment in children

Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine

Acute pain in children can occur following trauma and injury or secondary to medical and surgical intervention. Before acute pain can be effectively treated, it must be accurately assessed. In spite of many years of research to enhance our understanding of pain, the assessment of pain in children continues to be a challenge and is often inconsistent and suboptimal in many organizations.

B0009782 Losartan and Lidocaine

image shows micrograph of Losartan and Lidocaine. source: Lars Bech, Wellcome Images//CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Pain and its perception are multi-factorial, hence an approach to pain assessment and treatment must also be multi-faceted and multidisciplinary. Painful experiences are dynamic, with huge inter- and intra-individual variation; therefore pain assessment tools must be adaptable, reproducible and accurate to accommodate such variation.

This article outlines the different tools available for pain assessment in infants and children.

Brand, K. & Thorpe, B. Pain assessment in children Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine. Available online 20 April 2016.

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