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Coping with pain

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with potential or actual damage to tissue or described in terms that suggest such damage.

Pain may be physical but also psychological (anxiety, depression, anger, feelings of guilt etc), social (administrative problems, loss of social and/or family position, financial worries etc), or spiritual (sense of finiteness, fear of death etc).

It is generally estimated that 30-50% of pain is poorly relieved, but that when optimal care is given, only 5% of pain resists treatment (neuropathic pain, incidental components, tolerance phenomenon etc).

Pain management must be multidisciplinary: doctor, nurse, psychologist, social worker, chaplain, physiotherapist etc.

In terms of drugs, we follow the levels of the WHO scale. Level 1 includes non-morphine drugs, level 2 offers low-level opiates, and level 3 includes morphine derivatives. In addition to various layers, there are the so-called “adjuvants”, which complement classical treatment. Treatment for pain can sometimes produce certain side effects, such as constipation or nausea.

We give priority to oral administration, which is easy and allows the patient to remain independent. However, depending on circumstances, we also use subcutaneous or intravenous methods.

When drug treatment is insufficient, we use techniques particular to anaesthetists, namely, the peridural or intrathecal method of administration. We also consult with pain clinic staff, whose assistance is greatly valued.

 

A "pain consultation"

    A “pain consultation”, provided by doctors specialising in anaesthesia, is offered specifically for King Albert II Institute patients, guaranteeing them rapid and adequate care. To make an appointment, click here
     

 

 

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