Reducing the pain of movement in intensive care

April 17, 2013

Monitoring pain and providing analgesics to patients in intensive care units (ICUs) during non-surgical procedures, such as turning and washing, can not only reduce the amount of pain but also reduce the number of serious adverse events including cardiac arrest, finds new research in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care.

Although pain at rest is routinely noted, pain during procedures is less regularly reported and its effect on patients unknown. To assess this missing information and to implement techniques to help better control pain where necessary, educational posters and training were used by the University of Montpellier Saint Eloi Hospital.

The study showed that being moved for nursing care is one of the most painful procedures experienced by the patient during their stay in the ICU. It also found that serious adverse effects, such as cardiac arrest, problems with heart rate, breathing, or ventilator distress, were associated with severe pain during these procedures.

The training part of this study increased the amount of analgesics used and reduced both severe pain while being moved as well as serious adverse effects. Dr Gérald Chanques commented, "Our nursing and medical staff reported an increased awareness throughout, and after the project. There can be a disagreement between nursing staff and doctors about levels of pain medication, usually because of issues to do with side effects of the medication. However we found that increased levels of pain medication did not appear to lead to increased side effects, indicating that staff were being very careful in assessing the balance between benefit and risk for individual patients."
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Dr Hilary Glover
Scientific Press Officer, BioMed Central
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Email: hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com

Notes

1. Decreasing severe pain and serious adverse events while moving intensive care unit patients: a prospective interventional study (the NURSE-DO project)

Audrey de Jong, Nicolas Molinari, Sylvie de Lattre, Claudine Gniadek, Julie Carr, Mathieu Conseil, Marie-Pierre Susbielles, Boris Jung, Samir Jaber and Gerald Chanques

Critical Care (in press)

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request on the day of publication.

2. Critical Care is a high quality, peer-reviewed, international clinical medical journal. Critical Care aims to improve the care of critically ill patients by acquiring, discussing, distributing, and promoting evidence-based information relevant to intensivists.

3. BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral

BioMed Central

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