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      Management of postoperative pain: experience of the Niamey National Hospital, Niger

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          The aim of this study was to evaluate the management of postoperative pain at the Niamey National Hospital.


          A prospective study was conducted in the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care at the Niamey National Hospital from March to June, 2009. Data collected included age, sex, literacy, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status classification, type of anesthesia, type of surgery, postoperative analgesics used, and the cost of analgesics. Three types of pain assessment scale were used depending on the patient’s ability to describe his or her pain: the verbal rating scale (VRS), the numerical rating scale (NRS), or the visual analog scale (VAS). Patients were evaluated during the first 48 hours following surgery.


          The sample included 553 patients. The VRS was used for the evaluation of 72% of patients, the NRS for 14.4%, and the VAS for 13.6%. Of the VRS group, 33.9%, 8.3%, and 2.1% rated their pain as 3 or 4 out of 4 at 12, 24, and 48 hours postoperatively, respectively. For the NRS group, 33.8%, 8.8%, and 2.5% rated their pain as greater than 7 out of 10 at 12, 24, and 48 hours postoperatively, respectively. For the VAS group, 29.3%, 5.4%, and 0% rated their pain as greater than 7 out of 10 at 12, 24, and 48 hours postoperatively, respectively.


          Postoperative pain assessment and management in developing countries has not been well described. Poverty, illiteracy, and inadequate training of physicians and other health personnel contribute to the underutilization of postoperative analgesia. Analysis of the results gathered at the Niamey National Hospital gives baseline data that can be the impetus to increase training in pain management and to establish standardized protocols.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Preoperative prediction of severe postoperative pain.

          We developed and validated a prediction rule for the occurrence of early postoperative severe pain in surgical inpatients, using predictors that can be easily documented in a preoperative setting. A cohort of surgical inpatients (n=1416) undergoing various procedures except cardiac surgery and intracranial neurosurgery in a University Hospital were studied. Preoperatively the following predictors were collected: age, gender, type of scheduled surgery, expected incision size, blood pressure, heart rate, Quetelet index, the presence and severity of preoperative pain, health-related quality of life the (SF-36), Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Amsterdam Preoperative Anxiety and Information Scale (APAIS). The outcome was the presence of severe postoperative pain (defined as Numeric Rating Scale > or =8) within the first hour postoperatively. Multivariate logistic regression in combination with bootstrapping techniques (as a method for internal validation) was used to derive a stable prediction model. Independent predictors of severe postoperative pain were younger age, female gender, level of preoperative pain, incision size and type of surgery. The area under the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.68-0.74). Adding APAIS scores (measures of preoperative anxiety and need for information), but not STAI, provided a slightly better model (ROC area 0.73). The reliability of this extended model was good (Hosmer and Lemeshow test p-value 0.78). We have demonstrated that severe postoperative pain early after awakening from general anesthesia can be predicted with a scoring rule, using a small set of variables that can be easily obtained from all patients at the preoperative visit. Before this internally validated preoperative prediction rule can be applied in clinical practice to support anticipatory pain management, external validation in other clinical settings is necessary.
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            Tramadol: a review of its use in perioperative pain.

            Tramadol is a synthetic, centrally acting analgesic agent with 2 distinct, synergistic mechanisms of action, acting as both a weak opioid agonist and an inhibitor of monoamine neurotransmitter reuptake. The 2 enantiomers of racemic tramadol function in a complementary manner to enhance the analgesic efficacy and improve the tolerability profile of tramadol. In several comparative, well designed studies, oral and parenteral tramadol effectively relieved moderate to severe postoperative pain associated with surgery. Its overall analgesic efficacy was similar to that of morphine or alfentanil and superior to that of pentazocine. Tramadol provided effective analgesia in children and in adults for both inpatient and day surgery. Tramadol was generally well tolerated in clinical trials. The most common adverse events (incidence of 1.6 to 6.1%) were nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, sweating, vomiting and dry mouth. Importantly, unlike other opioids, tramadol has no clinically relevant effects on respiratory or cardiovascular parameters at recommended doses in adults or children. Tramadol also has a low potential for abuse or dependence. The efficacy of tramadol for the management of moderate to severe postoperative pain has been demonstrated in both inpatients and day surgery patients. Most importantly, unlike other opioids, tramadol has no clinically relevant effects on respiratory or cardiovascular parameters. Tramadol may prove particularly useful in patients with poor cardiopulmonary function, including the elderly, the obese and smokers, in patients with impaired hepatic or renal function, and in patients in whom nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not recommended or need to be used with caution. Parenteral or oral tramadol has proved to be an effective and well tolerated analgesic agent in the perioperative setting.
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              A patient-based national survey on postoperative pain management in France reveals significant achievements and persistent challenges.

              We carried out a national survey on postoperative pain (POP) management in a representative sample (public/private, teaching/non-teaching, size) of 76 surgical centers in France. Based on medical records and questionnaires, we evaluated adult patients 24h after surgery, concerning information: pre and postoperative pain, evaluation, treatment and side effects. A local consultant provided information about POP management. Data were recorded for 1900 adult patients, 69.3% of whom remembered information on POP. Information was mainly delivered orally (90.3%) and rarely noted on the patient's chart (18.2%). Written evaluations of POP were frequent on the ward (93.7%) with appropriate intervals (4.1 (4.0)h), but not frequently prescribed (32.7%). Pain evaluations were based on visual analog scale (21.1%), numerical scale (41.2%), verbal scale (13.8%) or non-numerical tool (24%). Pain was rarely a criterion for recovery room discharge (19.8%). Reported POP was mild at rest (2.7 (1.3)), moderate during movement (4.9 (1.9)) and intense at its maximal level (6.4 (2.0)). Incidence of side effects was similar according to patient (26.4%) or medical chart (25.1%) including mostly nausea and vomiting (83.3%). Analgesia was frequently initiated during anesthesia (63.6%). Patient-controlled analgesia (21.4%) was used less frequently than subcutaneous morphine (35.1%) whose prescription frequently did not follow guidelines. Non-opioid analgesics used included paracetamol (90.3%), ketoprofen (48.5%) and nefopam (21.4%). Epidural (1.5%) and peripheral (4.7%) nerve blocks were under used. Evaluation (63.4%) or treatment (74.1%) protocols were not available for all patients. This national, prospective, patient-based, survey reveals both progress and persistent challenges in POP management.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                05 December 2012
                : 5
                : 591-595
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, The Niamey National Hospital, Niamey, Republic of Niger
                [2 ]Department of Surgery, The Niamey National Hospital, Niamey, Republic of Niger
                [3 ]Department of Anesthesiology, Hubert K Maga University Teaching Hospital, Cotonou, Benin
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Maman Sani Chaibou, Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Niamey National Hospital, Box 10337, Niamey, Republic of Niger, Tel +227 9477 7766, Email chaibou_msani@ 123456yahoo.fr
                © 2012 Chaibou et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                niamey national hospital, pain scales, postoperative pain


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