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ICU-associated pain


Key sources

The following summarized guidelines for the evaluation and management of ICU-associated pain are prepared by our editorial team based on guidelines from the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM 2022,2013). ...
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Screening and diagnosis

Monitoring for pain: as per SCCM 2013 guidelines, monitor pain routinely in all adult patients hospitalized in the ICU.
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Medical management

Analgesia before invasive procedures: as per SCCM 2013 guidelines, consider preemptive analgesic therapy and/or nonpharmacologic interventions prior to performing invasive and potentially painful procedures in adult ICU patients.

More topics in this section

  • Management of non-neuropathic pain

  • Management of neuropathic pain

Therapeutic procedures

Neuraxial analgesia
As per SCCM 2013 guidelines:
Consider thoracic epidural analgesia for postoperative pain relief in patients undergoing AAA surgery.
Consider thoracic epidural analgesia for patients with traumatic rib fractures.

Specific circumstances

Pediatric patients: as per SCCM 2022 guidelines, consider obtaining routine pain assessment via self-report using the VAS, NRS, Oucher Scale, or Wong-Baker Faces pain scale in critically ill pediatric patients aged ≥ 6 years capable of communicating.
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