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<< Pain Management in the Emergency Department

Key Points

  • Use a pain scale in the triage assessment of pain. Consider pre-printed pain scales on charts for compliance.
  • The patient self report is the most reliable indicator of pain severity.
  • The basics, such as cold pack/elevation/ splinting/ positioning, are important components of effective pain management.
  • Treat pain early: use oral medications for less severe pain and IV medications titrated to pain relief for moderate/severe pain. Re-assess after treatment and document the pain score at discharge.
  • Develop, document, and provide a pain management strategy at discharge.

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Last Modified: 02/05/2016
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