Acute Pain in the Trauma Patient
acute pain, trauma, multimodal therapy, post-traumatic stress disorder, opioid use distorder
Emergency Medicine | Surgery | Trauma
Purpose of Review
This review will discuss the unique challenges associated with pain control in the trauma patient. Trauma is accompanied by painful conditions such as fractures, surgery, and nerve injury, but the trauma population also provides additional challenges compared to the general hospitalized population with respect to pain control because of the acute stress reaction and other psychological responses to trauma, often underlying chronic pain, and the increased risk of opiate use at baseline in this population.
The importance of recognizing uncontrolled pain early is essential to prevent adverse acute and chronic outcomes including post-traumatic stress disorder, transition to chronic pain, delirium, and respiratory failure.
A true multimodal approach to pain control in trauma patients includes early evaluation and consideration of techniques such as epidural anesthesia as well as nerve and fascial blocks, the use of non-opiate medications in addition to opiate medication, and early evaluation for uncontrolled stress, anxiety, and risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Publisher or Conference
Current Trauma Reports
Reed RN, Schurr MJ. Acute Pain in the Trauma Patient. Curr Trauma Rep. 2020 November 20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40719-020-00198-3
Part of Topical Collection on Pain Management in Trauma