Pain Management in Children
Pain management in children is the assessment and treatment of pain in infants and children. Pain management, pain medicine, pain control or algiatry, is a branch of medicine employing an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those living with chronic pain. The typical pain management team includes medical practitioners, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, nurses. The team may also include other mental health specialists and massage therapists.
Usually, acute pain has an obvious cause and is expected to last for a few days or weeks. It is usually managed with medication and non-pharmacological treatment to provide comfort. Acute pain is an indication for needed assessment, treatment and prevention. While a child is experiencing pain, physiological consequences can jeopardize healing and recovery. Unrelieved pain can cause alkalosis and hypoxemia that result from rapid, shallow breathing.
Neuropathic pain is associated with nerve injuries or abnormal sensitivities to touch or contact. Though neuropathic pain is relatively uncommon in children compared to adults, greater awareness of these conditions is on the rise. Some causes may include past surgeries and amputations, “autoimmune and degenerative neuropathies", and injury to the spinal cord.
Cancer pain in children may be caused by the cancer itself or the side effects of treatment. Tumours can cause pain in two different ways, either by the physical pressure it places on organs or by occluding normal bodily functions. Treatment such as surgery and injections can also lead to significant pain for the cancer pain in children may be caused by the cancer itself or the side effects of treatment. Tumours can cause pain in two different ways, either by the physical pressure it places on organs or by occluding normal bodily functions. Treatment such as surgery and injections can also lead to significant pain for the patient.
Chronic pain in children is unresolved pain that affects activities of daily living and may result in a significant amount of missed school days. Chronic pain is present for long periods of time and is characterized as mild to severe. Chronic pain has also been described as the pain experienced when the child reports a headache, abdominal pain, back pain, generalized pain or combination chronic pain can develop from disease or injury and can occur simultaneously with acute pain. Children who experience chronic pain can have psychological effects. Caring for a child in pain may cause distress to the caregiver, may cause costs due to healthcare or lost wages from time off work, and may stop caregivers from leaving the house.
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