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Cynthia H. Shields

, and Lisa Bleckner

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date: 20 May 2022

Pain management of the polytrauma patient requires thorough understanding of the patient’s history, complete examination, and consideration of the trajectory of care. Multimodal options for treatment include medications, regional anesthesia, and nonmedication treatments. Rapid management of pain is critical to prevent development of chronic pain and possibly for the prevention phantom limb pain. This chapter reviews the important features of the history and physical exam of a polytrauma patient. Treatment options for pain are discussed. The risks of multimodal analgesia, including oversedation and prolonged high dose opioid use are discussed. Compartment syndrome is an important concern in this population and is reviewed considering the potential for masking its detection with regional anesthesia.

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