Management of pain in pre-hospital settings
Intended for healthcare professionals
Art & Science Previous     Next

Management of pain in pre-hospital settings

Michael Parker Lecturer in acute and critical care nursing, University of York
Antony Rodgers Paramedic, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Michael Parker and Antony Rodgers discuss ways to measure pain in trauma patients and ask why some practitioners provide patients with inadequate pain relief

Assessment and management of pain in pre-hospital care settings are important aspects of paramedic and clinical team roles. As emergency department waiting times and delays in paramedic-to-nurse handover increase, it becomes more and more vital that patients receive adequate pre-hospital pain relief. However, administration of analgesia can be inadequate and can result in patients experiencing oligoanalgesia, or under-treated pain. This article examines these issues along with the aetiology of trauma and the related socioeconomic background of traumatic injury. It reviews validated pain-assessment tools, outlines physiological responses to traumatic pain and discusses some of the misconceptions about the provision of effective analgesia in pre-hospital settings.

Emergency Nurse. 23, 3, 16-21. doi: 10.7748/en.23.3.16.e1445


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 01 April 2015

Accepted: 19 May 2015

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now