Friday, March 13, 2009

Acute Pain Service established for 24-hour pain management

The MGH Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care provides a range of anesthetic, perioperative and pain management services to thousands of patients annually. Last year based on a hospitalwide survey, the department identified the need for a dedicated inpatient service for perioperative and trauma pain. A proposal was put forth to create the Acute Pain Service, and under the guidance of department chief Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD, the service officially launched Jan. 5.

Led by Padma Gulur, MD, director of the MGH Inpatient Pain Service, the Acute Pain Service is staffed by eight anesthesiologists who specialize in acute perioperative pain management. The referral-based group provides daily 24-hour coverage and management of patients with postoperative, post-traumatic and other types of acute pain requiring specialized intervention, including epidural analgesia, continuous peripheral nerve blockade or complex pharmacological management. The new service is also introducing more advanced pain management techniques, such as patient-controlled epidural analgesia.

“The establishment of the Acute Pain Service has increased access to the expertise required to provide safe, effective pain relief for patients with complex needs,” says Paul Arnstein, RN, PhD, clinical nurse specialist for pain relief.

In addition to providing pain relief, the new service hopes to educate residents in the management of acute pain and contribute to clinical research in the field. A rib fracture study already is underway with the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care.

The Acute Pain Service can be paged at 2-7246. For administrativequestions or concerns, call (617) 724-1204.

Learn more about the department of Anesthesia and Critical Care

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