Pediatric Patients

Pain management among children has been abysmally poor. For example, the level of analgesics provided to children postoperatively was markedly low compared with the level provided to adults in comparable surgical interventions (Beyer et al. 1983). Part of this poor pain management has been due to misconceptions about pediatric pain, to inadequate pain assessments and scales for use in young children, and to fears about the use of powerful analgesics (e.g., opiates) among young patients.

The neonatal nervous system is well equipped to process nociceptive input (Goldschneider et al. 2001). However, the communication of painful states is limited. Common chronic pain states in children include headache, recurrent abdominal and chest pain, and those pain states associated with chronic illnesses (e.g., diabetes, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, cancer).

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