Time to adequately heed Acute Pain in the Emergency Department – More Regional Blocks Warranted
Vol 3 | Issue 2 | July-December 2022 | Page 37-41 | Tom C. R. V. Van Zundert, André A. J. Van Zundert
Authors: Tom C. R. V. Van Zundert [1, 2], André A. J. Van Zundert [2, 3]
 Department of Emergency Medicine, Holy Heart Hospital, Mol, Belgium.
 Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia.
 Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
Address of Correspondence
Professor André A.J. Van Zundert,
Professor and Chair of Anaesthesiology, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital & The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
All healthcare stressors converge in the emergency department (ED), which sees an annual increase of 6-7% with more than 25 million patient visits in the UK. This translates to 44,435 attendances per 100,000 population in the period 2019-2020 . Acute pain is the primary reason patients seek emergency medical care. Consequently, substandard acute pain treatment is one of the most frequently heard complaints and has been labelled as a public health problem . Pain remains under-acknowledged, -assessed and -treated, mainly in case of overcrowding in the ED and especially in the more vulnerable groups, including the elderly and children. Many patients express an initial pain score of 10 out of 10 on the visual analogue scale (VAS) in the ED. Generally, initial pain treatment combines oral acetaminophen, NSAID and/or (IV) opioids. Nevertheless, despite these pain killers, most patients continue to suffer and score their pain at 8/10 or higher. Untreated pain can have both short- and long-term effects, including sensitisation to pain episodes in later life .
Most visits to the emergency department involve patients with conditions that include: a) injuries and trauma from (motor vehicle) accidents, physical assaults or falls, with or without circulatory shock; b) cardiovascular and cerebral attacks or loss of consciousness; c) severe pain of diverse causes, both acute and chronic origin; d) acute worsening of a serious illness or disease, including problems with breathing and bleeding; e) mental illness; f) burns; g) anaphylactic and allergic reactions; g) drug overdoses and poisoning; and h) pregnancy-related complications. In most of these cases, patients present with pain as a substantial factor.
Keywords: Emergency department, Hip fracture, Pain, Regional anaesthesia, Nerve blocks, Ultrasonography
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|How to Cite this Article: Van Zundert TCRV, Van Zundert AAJ | Time to Adequately Heed Acute Pain in the Emergency Department- More Regional Blocks Warranted | International Journal of Regional Anaesthesia | July-December 2022; 3(2): 37-41.|