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Pain Management in the Emergency Department - page 11 / 15

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Leslie Zun, MD, FAAEM

Dispel Myths

Administration of analgesic in acute abdomen does not change physical exam

LoVeechio, F, Oster, N, Sturman, K, et al: the use of analgesics in patients with acute abdominal pain. J Emerge Med 1997; 15: 775-779.

53% of the surveyed surgeons stated pain meds precluded a patient from signing a valid informed consent

Graber, MA, Ely, JW, Clarke, S, Kurtz, AS, Weir, R: Informed consent and general surgeons’ attitudes toward the use of pain medication in acute abdomen. Am J Emerge Med 1999;17:113-116.

Problems with this view

Pain treatment does not necessarily cloud sensorium

Withholding pain medication could be considered coercion

Pain may in itself cloud a patient’s judgment

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