Monitoring pain management in postoperative patients

Martin Galligan, clinical nurse specialist at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK discusses an audit he conducted into compliance regarding documentation surrounding patient-controlled analgesia pumps and epidural analgesia pumps; these are the two most common methods of pain control in postoperative patients. Both pose substantial risks and thus require intensive observation. With patient-controlled analgesia pumps, hourly respiratory observations are required, and with epidural analgesia pumps, it is necessary to have sensory and motor block checks for 48 hours after the line is removed. In patient-controlled analgesia pumps, compliance was only 20% and with epidural analgesia pumps it was 0%. Following educational interventions, a re-audit suggested matters had improved considerably, with compliance rate 80% in epidural analgesia pumps and 65-70% in patient-controlled analgesia pumps. Recorded at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), held in Brighton, UK.
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