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SPECIAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 138-143

Regional anesthesia for management of acute pain in the intensive care unit


Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Pain Relief Service, Harborview Medical Center - 325 9th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104, Box 359724, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mario De Pinto
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Pain Relief Service, Harborview Medical Center - 325 9th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, Box 359724
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.164917

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Pain is a major problem for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. Despite numerous improvements it is estimated that as many as 70% of the patients experience moderate-to-severe postoperative pain during their stay in the ICU. Effective pain management means not only decreasing pain intensity, but also reducing the opioids' side effects. Minimizing nausea, vomiting, urinary retention, and sedation may indeed facilitate patient recovery and it is likely to shorten the ICU and hospital stay. Adequate postoperative and post-trauma pain management is also crucial for the achievement of effective rehabilitation. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that effective acute pain management may be helpful in reducing the development of chronic pain.When used appropriately, and in combination with other treatment modalities, regional analgesia techniques (neuraxial and peripheral nerve blocks) have the potential to reduce or eliminate the physiological stress response to surgery and trauma, decreasing the possibility of surgical complications and improving the outcomes. Also they may reduce the total amount of opioid analgesics necessary to achieve adequate pain control and the development of potentially dangerous side effects.


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