Pain Relief Services

 

  • Pre and post operative pain management advice.
  • At least once daily pain management ward rounds, Monday – Friday.
  • Devising pain management regimes to control patients admitted with a pain problem.
  • Ensuring that patients’ pain management regime is appropriate prior to discharge.
  • Arranging if necessary follow up care with the Chronic Pain Service team at SIVUH

 

Pain Control Techniques

There are many options available to help control your pain. However, not every option is suitable for every individual. You will be informed of the best method to help with your acute pain management. The following are some of the options that you may be offered:

Oral Analgesics - "Pain Killers"

This is the simplest and most common way of controlling pain. The tablets or pain killers are required to be administered at regular intervals throughout the day where possible. You should let your Nurse know if you need extra “pain killers” analgesia before the next tablet/medicine is due.

Intramuscular/Subcutanoues Injections

This involves a nurse giving you an injection. It is a useful method of pain control after surgery and we try to start oral medication as soon as possible. You should let your nurse know if your pain returns before the next injection is due as the dose or interval may require adjusting.

Intravenous Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) 

This system allows you to demand small amounts of pain relieving medication by pressing a button on a handset, which is attached to a pump. The pump is programmed so that you get the correct amount of pain killer, but you are not in danger of having too much pain relieving medication.
  • This is only required for some patients and your Anaesthetist will help make that decision with you.
  • You will be advised how best to use it by your nurse.
  • You will be moved onto oral pain killers as soon as possible
  • All patients are carefully monitored while on a PCA 

Epidural Analgesia

Sometimes this level of pain management is required. Your Anaesthetist will discuss this option with you if appropriate.

An epidural involves a small plastic tube being placed in your back close to the spinal cord. The tube is connected to a pump. The pump is programmed to give you a set rate of drugs every hour. If you experience extra pain it will also be possible to increase the amount of extra drugs and the acute pain team will assist with this. The pump is programmed so that you cannot overdose.

  • This is only required for some patients and your Anaesthetist will help make that decision with you.
  • If this is indicated for labour pain / Caesarean Section, it will be discussed in advance with your Obstetric Team and your Anaesthetist.
  • You will be advised on how best to use it by your nurse.
  • You will be prescribed oral pain relief as soon as you are able to take sips.
  • All patients are carefully monitored while on an epidural.

Regional Analgesia (with or without infusion)

Sometimes called a “nerve block” - this involves a specific injection near the nerve in your arm / leg / back, that will assist with managing your pain.

This method is often used to avoid a full General Anaesthesia. It is undertaken with the use of ultrasound guidance to position the injection as accurately and as safely as possible.  Your Anaesthetist will discuss this option with you if appropriate.

Sometimes a small plastic tube can be placed near a nerve and the tube is connected to a pump. The pump is programmed to give you a set rate of drugs every hour. 

  • This is only required for some patients and your Anaesthetist will help make that decision with you.
  • You will be moved onto oral pain killers as soon as possible
  • All patients are carefully monitored while on regional analgesia.