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Acute pain in the intensive cardiac care unit 

Acute pain in the intensive cardiac care unit
Acute pain in the intensive cardiac care unit

Siân Jaggar

and Helen Laycock


February 22, 2018: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.


Updated figure 73.1 “Pain pathways”

Update to surgical pain section to include referred pain

Update to transcatheter aortic valve implantation section based on evidence from two new references

New section on percutaneous coronary intervention with two new references

Update to procedural pain following publication of the Europain® study

Update to pain assessment to include potential objective measures of pain and one new reference

Update to regional anaesthesia section following a recently published meta-analysis on the topic

Update to music section following recent meta-analysis on the topic

Updated on 28 April 2016. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 07 July 2020

Cardiac intensive care units admit a heterogeneous patient group

Pain is common, occurring in up to 70% of medical and surgical patients

Effective analgesia is important

Pain is under-recognized and inadequately treated, particularly in medical patients

Consequences of pain are widespread, involving multisystem physiological changes

Pain causes significant psychological sequelae for patients, and ethical implications for physicians

Pain management should utilize a systematic approach. Ensuring optimal patient comfort requires:

Understanding of the potential causes of pain in cardiac intensive care

Using validated pain assessment tools to identify the presence of pain and evaluate treatment effects

Employing a multimodal, multidisciplinary management strategy

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