Pain management in day-case surgery
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Pain management in day-case surgery

Mark Mitchell Senior lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Salford, Manchester

Background Effective pain management following day surgery is a challenging issue. For the majority of patients severe pain is uncommon. However, a number of patients experience considerable pain following discharge. Uncontrolled pain is one of the main causes of re-admission to an inpatient bed following day surgery and a leading cause of patient dissatisfaction with it.

Conclusion This article reviews the literature and there is a discussion of the issues concerning effective pain management in day surgery. The drugs commonly used in day surgery practice are outlined to demonstrate the constraints that day surgery practices can impose on effective pain management. Day surgery is continually expanding and hip replacement and cholecystectomy are now being undertaken in day surgery facilities (Amarnath et al 2002, Berger 2003). The role of the nurse in effective pain management is therefore crucial amid such innovative developments as, even when explicitly instructed, the majority of patients still experience some post-operative pain (Apfelbaum et al 2003, Dewar et al 2003).

Nursing Standard. 18, 25, 33-38. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review