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“Persistent Post-Operative Pain in Children – An Argument for a Transitional Pain Service in Pediatrics”

Published:August 02, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmn.2022.06.004

      Abstract

      Background

      Persistent post-operative pain continues to occur in pediatric patients. Despite the growing amount of literature on causes, there is little discussion on treatment and prevention with a majority of studies focusing on specific surgeries.

      Aim

      The aim of this retrospective chart study is to identify risk factors and clinical features of persistent post-operative pain after any surgery in a pediatric quaternary complex pain service, describe the pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic management in children, and explore options to improve outcomes, in particular, the introduction of a transitional pain service.

      Methods

      A retrospective chart review recorded demographics, gender, age, pain location and surgery type, treatment, and outcomes of 31 children identified through relevant registers over a 2-year period.

      Results

      A total of 31 children were positively identified as having persistent post-operative pain and were seen in the complex pain clinic. Consistent with the literature, most cases represented neuropathic pain and persistent post-operative pain was most commonly seen after orthopedic surgery. All but four children had resolution of their pain after implementing the pain management plan. Management was characterized by early intervention, emphasis on non-pharmacologic strategies, and conservative use of opioids.

      Conclusions

      Identifying risk factors is useful, however putting strategies into place for prevention is necessary. Early intervention and the implementation of strategies before and immediately after are best provided by a transitional pain service.
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