Acute Pain Service
Poor perioperative pain management is remedied, not so much in the development of new techniques, but by the development of Acute Pain Services (APS) to exploit existing expertise. APSs have been established in many countries. Most are headed-up by anesthesiologists. An APS consists of anesthesiologist-supervised pain nurses and an ongoing educational program for patients and all health personnel involved in the care of surgical patients. The benefits of an APS include increased patient satisfaction and improved outcome after surgery. It raises the standards of pain management throughout the hospital. Optimal use of basic pharmacological analgesia improves the relief of post-operative pain for most surgical patients. More advanced approaches, such as well-tailored epidural analgesia, are used to relieve severe dynamic pain (e.g. when coughing). This may markedly reduce risks of complications in patients at high risk of developing post-operative respiratory...