[Pain therapy in emergency medicine. Focus on emergency admissions]

B Kumle, P Wilke, W Koppert, K Kumle, A Gries
Der Anaesthesist 2013, 62 (11): 902-8, 910-3
With a prevalence of 50-80 % pain is one of the main symptoms of emergency admission patients worldwide; however, study results demonstrate that only 30-50 % of patients receive adequate analgesia. Therefore, in the USA quality indicators have been established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) since 2010 within the framework of quality assurance of emergency admissions, e.g. the time window until the start of pain therapy. Despite the prescribed pain evaluation as part of many existing triage systems, e.g. the Manchester triage system (MTS), emergency severity index (ESI), Australasian triage scale (ATS), Canadian triage and acuity scale (CATS), in most emergency rooms there is no standardized, documented pain assessment and pain intensity is documented by using the appropriate pain scales in only 30 % of cases. Lack of knowledge and training and lack of awareness by the nursing and medical staff regarding pain perception and management represent the main causal factors. Studies on the situation of pain therapy in German emergency departments are not currently available. Due to the increasing number of central emergency departments and interdisciplinary teams of physicians and nurses, it seems sensible to introduce interdisciplinary standards of treatment to achieve the greatest possible safety in the use of analgesics in the emergency room. It is important to incorporate the experiences of the various clinical departments in the standards. This article aims to provide an overview of the situation in pain management in emergency departments and to serve as a basis for recommendations for pain therapy in German emergency departments. This article particularly discusses the possibilities of pain evaluation, treatment options with various medications and under specific conditions, e.g. for children, pregnant women or the elderly or alternative ways of pain management.

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