Analgesics for cardiac surgery patients in critical care: describing current practice.

University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle.
American Journal of Critical Care (Impact Factor: 1.6). 02/1994; 3(1):31-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the last 10 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses has twice ranked pain management as a priority issue for research and practice. Recent research findings suggest that undermedication of patients continues both in and out of critical care. Postoperative cardiac surgery patients have reported detailed recollections of pain experiences while in critical care, yet little is known about management of postoperative cardiac surgery pain.
The purpose of this study was to describe current practice related to analgesic prescription and administration for postoperative cardiac surgery patients in critical care.
Medical records of 80 adults undergoing cardiac surgery in two hospitals were randomly selected for review. Data pertaining to pain medications prescribed and doses administered for the day of surgery, first and second postoperative days were recorded for 66 eligible subjects.
All but one patient had a prescription for intravenous morphine, hourly as needed. In addition, all patients had prescriptions for one or more oral analgesics as needed. Gender and age effects were noted for analgesic prescriptions. The average total amount of intravenous morphine given over the 3 days was 13.9 +/- 13.5 mg in an average of 4 +/- 3.7 doses. The average total number of acetaminophen with oxycodone tablets given over the 3 days was 5.8 +/- 5.4 tablets in an average of 3.6 +/- 3.0 doses. Age and hospital effects were noted in the administration of analgesics.
The finding of small and infrequent analgesic doses is consistent with other studies conducted in and out of critical care. Important inconsistencies, or variations in practice, exist in both the prescription and administration of analgesics for postoperative cardiac surgery patients in the critical care setting.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite the advances in pain control following surgery, data on the location and distribution of pain following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) are lacking. This study was intended to investigate the location, distribution, and intensity of pain in patients undergoing CABG during their postoperative hospital stay from the operation to the end of the first postoperative week. Factors that could affect pain intensity and distribution were analyzed as well. The present study was conducted on 138 patients who underwent CABG surgery at Rajaei cardiovascular, Medical and Research Center during May and July 2011. Location and intensity of pain were assessed using numeric rating scale (NRS) over time: every six hours after the operation on the first day (T1-T4, respectively), and on two (POD2), three (POD3), and seven days after the operation (POD7). Among 138 patients assessed in the study, the greatest severity of pain was reported on T2, with the mean severity of 3.4, followed by POD2 with the mean severity of 2.9 (P < 0.01). The location of the surgical incision had the most severity of pain in all patients (P < 0.01). On the site of surgical incision, a negative correlation was seen between the age and the severity of pain on T1 (P = 0.03, r = -0.180). Women experienced more severe pain compared to men at POD7. A significant correlation was seen between the severity of pain on POD7 and body mass index (BMI) (P < 0.01, r = 0.23). In patients who had the longer duration of cardiopulmonary bypass (CBD), the most pain intensity was reported on T1 (P < 0.01, r = 0.18). A significant correlation was seen on the pain intensity on T4 and chest tube drainage (P < 0.01, r = 0.24). The correlation between the pain severity pain and duration of admission in intensive care unit (ICU), was significant on T1 (P < 0.05, r = 0.18), T4 (P < 0.01, r = 0.29), POD2 (P < 0.01, r = 0.35) and POD7 (P < 0.05, r = 0.18). Following CABG, the most severity of pain was reported at surgical incision on time T2. Pain began to decrease from the third day following the operation. Age, sex and BMI along with operation-related factors such as duration of CBP or chest tube drainage may affect the pain pattern following CABG surgery.
    02/2014; 4(1):e10386. DOI:10.5812/aapm.10386
  • Source
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Whilst the influence of age, gender, insurance status and ethnicity on pain management has been previously reported, to our knowledge, no studies have assessed the influence of these characteristics on physicians’ decisions to prescribe intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV PCA) as opposed to intramuscular injection (IMI) of opioid analgesia. This retrospective audit of 115 patients undergoing abdominal surgery was conducted to determine the influence of age, gender, insurance status and patient ethnicity (Caucasian versus ethnic minority) on the prescription of PCA or IMI analgesia for postoperative pain. Logistic regression was performed to determine independent associations and the odds ratios for being prescribed PCA or IMI opioid analgesia. The results indicate that the only significant independent predictor for PCA prescription was patients’ ethnicity, with minority patients less likely to be prescribed PCA for postoperative pain management (P = 0.034). This study therefore suggests that PCA prescription is influenced by patients’ ethnicity.
    Acute Pain 05/2005; 7(1):21-26. DOI:10.1016/j.acpain.2004.11.001