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An Evidence-Based Approach To Traumatic Pain Management In The Emergency Department (Trauma CME)

August 2012

Abstract

Painful traumatic injuries account for a large portion of emergency department visits. Injuries may occur through various mechanisms, and many patient and provider factors affect the success of treatment. Not all injuries or patients should be treated in exactly the same fashion, and an understanding of these factors is important to providing optimal care. Medications, management strategies, and methods of evaluation have been studied with varying depth and success. Regional anesthetic techniques and nonpharmacologic means can help minimize the use of systemic agents that may have unwanted side effects. Diagnostic evaluation should not detract from symptomatic treatment. This evidence-based review summarizes the pathophysiology, historical factors, diagnostic strategies, and demographics that influence the experience of pain and provides recommendations for a variety of treatment options.

Keywords: emergency trauma analgesia, pain management, somatic pain, visceral pain, analgesic, opioid, anesthesia

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