Pediatric Pain Management: the Multidisciplinary Approach

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Children getting treatment services to some of the pain they are feeling can sometimes become a hard and challenging situation to many pediatric doctors and nurses. Many controversies arise to whether there exist ways of treating pediatric pain or instead to only focus on how best one needs to treat the pain rather than putting more concern on the pain of the child.

Today, pain is perceived as a symptom of treating rather than an inevitable consequence. There exist various reasons why people treat pain. One of the most common reasons is because it is one of the most humane things that one can do. Some of the other reasons for treating pain are because adequate pain management reduces both the child and the parent’s anxiety helping them relax and cooperate to some of the procedures that are being undertaken.

Treating pain helps reduce the burden that most medical staff whenever there is no control to the anxiety both the child and the parent or guardian have. Some of the negative effects that are apparent to pain are that it increases the mortality rate, also creates hyperalgesia. Pain is also known to have a negative effect on the development of a child.

Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage. The above definition has elicited mixed judgments to how people perceive pain regarding it as an inherent quality of life that appears early in development and serves as a signal for tissue damage.

What are some of the effects of pediatric pain?

Infants, when born, were initially believed to experience less pain because many believed that their nervous systems were immature. Although the ascending pathways of the neonatal nervous system are understood to be fully developed thus allowing the transmission of painful stimuli, the descending inhibitory trails are not established. The above showed that painful stimuli may reach the brain leading to more pronounced pain sensation in neonates than in children and adults.

So, what are some of the various ways to which one can manage pediatric pain?

There exist general principles that can be applied to pediatric children to managing pain. One of the ways includes conducting an adequate assessment understanding where the pain is coming from and to how it can be managed. Some of the results that are brought to assist in providing a clear judgment to how the pain can be stopped.

Whenever pediatricians are conducting their analysis it is often common for them to anticipate some of the pain thus treatment is administered prophylactically. It is a process which ensures that every child after surgery will have pain the following day thus considered inhumane if the pediatric will not offer any painkillers after.

Another approach which doctors can use in managing pediatric pain is by involving the parents or the guardians of the baby who always offer the best explanation to what their children are suffering from. It is clear that in hospitals, pediatrics use these approach in reducing the anxiety that both the parents and their children have. There exist various ways to how medics assess the pain of children which can either be psychological i.e. checking a child’s respiratory rate, heart rate, cortisol levels, palmar sweating, blood pressure, etc.

Checking can also be behavioral which can include:

  • Body movement
  • Facial action
  • Crying
  • Posturing
  • State of arousal
  • Breathing pattern

There exist widely used drugs that are known to benefit and reduce the level of pain that the child may be born. They can include Opioids which are moderate and are often used to patients who are suffering from acute pain. Another drug commonly used is NSAIDS that are usually effective in managing mild-to-moderate pain and at other times combined with Opioids to for more severe pain. Most of the drugs administered often have their own side effects and so, it is always better to understand some of the benefits and limitations of using the said drug.