Safe and effective management of analgesics in patients presenting to hospital with acute illness
evidence and practice    

Safe and effective management of analgesics in patients presenting to hospital with acute illness

Emma Davies Advanced pharmacist practitioner in pain management, Integrated Pharmacy and Medicines Management, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, Swansea, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise that people presenting to hospital for non-pain-related reasons may be using analgesics that can affect their admission

  • To improve your awareness of the analgesics used to manage pain, as well as the importance of monitoring and adjusting these medicines during acute illness

  • To understand the role of nurses in pain assessment and the difference between monitoring acute pain and chronic pain

Chronic pain affects a significant percentage of the population and is defined as pain that lasts beyond the point of healing. People presenting to hospital with acute illness may have underlying chronic pain that can be exacerbated by their presenting condition, even if this chronic pain is not the reason for their admission. While people may tolerate their usual medicine regimen under normal circumstances, small changes in their physical health can rapidly cause issues with their medication such as increased side effects. This article considers how nurses can improve the safety of people experiencing pain who have been admitted to hospital, and outlines when changes in their health might have implications for their prescribed analgesics.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11281

Citation

Davies E (2018) Safe and effective management of analgesics in patients presenting to hospital with acute illness. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11281

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@emma_davies50

Correspondence

emma.daviesda647@wales.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 15 November 2018

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