Emergency Department Evaluation
Appropriate treatment of pain is predicated on an ability to assess the pain. Documentation of pain assessment is mandated by the Joint Commission.35,36 Unfortunately, assessment is often challenging for a variety of reasons. These may include cultural or language differences,37,38 mental status changes, inability to communicate, critical illness39 and developmental stage, to name a few. There are few reliable objective measures to quantify pain. Vital signs often remain normal despite a significant degree of pain.40
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