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      Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the triage emergency department nursing protocol for the management of pain

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          Pain is a common symptom presented in the emergency department (ED) although it is often underestimated, poorly evaluated and treated. The application of a protocol for timely pain management ensured by the nurse can avoid the delays in the analgesic treatment and improve the patient’s quality of waiting.


          To check the effectiveness and efficiency of the protocol aimed at early pain management in triage, active in our ED. In particular, the response to analgesic treatment was evaluated 60 minutes after the administration and at discharge. Patient satisfaction was also evaluated using two anonymous questionnaires both at discharge and 48 hours later via telephone.


          A single-center, observational study was conducted on a prospective cohort of patients (aged ≥4 years) with a pain symptom at admission in ED with no surgical picture.


          In the observation period (June 2015–May 2016), 382 patients were enrolled, and of these, 312 (84.8%) accepted pain therapy during triage stage in the ED. In 97.4% of the cases, orosoluble paracetamol 1000 mg was administered. In the re-evaluation done 60 minutes later, 65.9% of the patients showed a reduction of at least 2 points on Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), equal to a mean reduction of 2.24 points (95% CI: 2.03–2.45). The mean time of analgesia intake was equal to 5.9 minutes (95% CI: 3.8–8.1). In the re-evaluation done at discharge, 33.2% of the patients showed a reduction of NRS score >50%, leading to a mean reduction of 39% (95% CI: 35.3%−41.9%). The level of patient satisfaction was high with a mean value >9 points (maximum satisfaction =10).


          This protocol shows that optimal pain management was achieved by patients rapidly receiving an effective painkiller therapy at triage, leading to substantial patient satisfaction. In moderate pain, orosoluble paracetamol 1000 mg provided a reduction of NRS score by 2 points in 67.6% of the patients, confirming to be the analgesic of choice in ED.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Pain prevalence and pain relief in trauma patients in the Accident & Emergency department.

          Acute pain in the A&E department (ED) has been described as a problem, however insight into the problem for trauma patients is lacking.
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            Inadequate analgesia in emergency medicine.

             Sven Delaney,  T. Rupp (2004)
            Review of emergency department pain management practices demonstrates pain treatment inconsistency and inadequacy that extends across all demographic groups. This inconsistency and inadequacy appears to stem from a multitude of potentially remediable practical and attitudinal barriers that include (1) a lack of educational emphasis on pain management practices in nursing and medical school curricula and postgraduate training programs; (2) inadequate or nonexistent clinical quality management programs that evaluate pain management; (3) a paucity of rigorous studies of populations with special needs that improve pain management in the emergency department, particularly in geriatric and pediatric patients; (4) clinicians' attitudes toward opioid analgesics that result in inappropriate diagnosis of drug-seeking behavior and inappropriate concern about addiction, even in patients who have obvious acutely painful conditions and request pain relief; (5) inappropriate concerns about the safety of opioids compared with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that result in their underuse (opiophobia); (6) unappreciated cultural and sex differences in pain reporting by patients and interpretation of pain reporting by providers; and (7) bias and disbelief of pain reporting according to racial and ethnic stereotyping. This article reviews the literature that describes the prevalence and roots of oligoanalgesia in emergency medicine. It also discusses the regulatory efforts to address the problem and their effect on attitudes within the legal community.
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              Patient expectations for pain relief in the ED.

              The objective of the study was to assess patient expectations for pain relief in the ED. A convenience sample of 522 patients with pain and 144 patients without pain were enrolled in a prospective observational study at a university ED. Patients reported a mean expectation for pain relief of 72 % (95% CI 70-74). Eighteen percent expected complete (100%) pain relief in the ED. Patient expectations for pain relief were poorly correlated (r = 0.150) with initial pain intensity. Patients without pain reported a mean expectation for pain relief of 74% (95% CI 71-77) if they had presented with pain. There were no differences in patient expectations for pain relief based on age or gender. Patients expect a large percentage of their pain to be relieved in the ED, and many expect complete analgesia. Patient expectations for pain relief do not vary based on age, gender or pain intensity.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                16 October 2017
                : 10
                : 2479-2488
                [1 ]S.O.C. Emergency Medicine, AAS3 Ospedale Sant’Antonio di San Daniele del Friuli
                [2 ]C.R.E.A. Sanità, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Rossella Letizia Mancusi, C.R.E.A. Sanità, University of Tor Vergata, Piazza A. Mancini, 4, 00196 Rome, Italy, Tel +39 328 904 1084, Email rosella.letizia.mancusi@ 123456uniroma2.it
                © 2017 Butti et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                pain management, protocol, triage, analgesic, orosoluble paracetamol


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