Editor's Corner

Acute Pediatric Pain Is Inevitable but Manageable

Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP
Francis Kraemer, MD
T. Anthony Anderson, MD, PhD
Amy B. Beethe, MD
Jason Brown, MD
Galaxy Li, MD
Chang Amber Liu, MD, MSc, FAAP
Diana Liu, MD
Rebecca L. Wu, MD

Welcome to 2020! We are entering into another new decade. With exceptional leadership from Dr. Rita Agarwal, SPPM continues to grow in membership and to expand its associated services as well as increase affiliations with other organizations. Dr. Agarwal and her volunteer officers undoubtedly will continue to lead SPPM and advance us into a new era.

We are all very excited for the SPPM 7th Annual Meeting at the Atlantis Resort Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas. With the expanded three-day, education-rich program, we can all advance our knowledge, rejuvenate our spirit and renew our friendships. In this Newsletter, the program chair, Dr. M-Irfan Suleman, nicely outlines the annual conference. We cannot wait to see you all in the Bahamas!

Acute pediatric pain is a physiological response to noxious stimuli that can become pathologic. It can occur after injuries, illnesses, medical procedures or have idiopathic causes. It does not only cause pain and suffering, but is also associated with increased anxiety, stress, and parental distress. Though we cannot avoid acute pediatric pain, acute pain in neonatal and pediatric patients is manageable. Acute pain management is multifactorial, encompassing physiologic, emotional, socio-behavioral, developmental, as well as situational factors. Pain is an unpleasant and personal psychological experience which should be assessed and treated as such. Acute pain usually lasts for less than seven days’ however, it can extend up to 30 days. Adequate acute pain control may alleviate factors that promote the transition of acute to chronic pain. Pain clinicians need to apply appropriate assessment tools and techniques, use multimodal strategies to address pain management, and employ a multidisciplinary team approach when possible. Adequate acute pediatric pain management can decrease the length of stay in the hospital, facilitate recovery, and promote healing.

In this issue of the SPPM Newsletter, we are very fortunate to have Dr. John S. Jones guide us through the fundamental philosophies in developing an acute pediatric pain program. To have a successful acute pediatric pain service, the roles of the nurses are essential.  Erin Sweet, RN, delineates the role of nurse practitioners in the management of acute pediatric pain in this Newsletter.  Drs. Samantha L. Brackett and Sophie R. Pestieau nicely review the analgesics for the treatment of postoperative pain for children. Dr. Jason Brown introduces the adaptation of pediatric acute pain protocols to the perioperative surgical home and ERAS. Regional anesthesia also plays a very important role in acute pediatric pain management. Dr. Walid Alrayashi presents a pertinent summary of regional anesthesia. Lastly, an acute pediatric pain service is not complete without the guidance and support of a pediatric psychologist. Dr. Rachel Zoffness addresses bio-behavioral strategies for the management of acute pediatric pain.

The 12th International Symposium on Pediatric Pain (ISPP) was held in Basel, Switzerland.  The ISPP is hosted by the International Association for the Study of Pain Special Interest Group on Pain in Childhood. In this issue of the SPPM Newsletter, Dr. Neil Schechter kindly provides us a review of this important international pediatric pain conference.

The SPPM Newsletter is for, and belongs to, all SPPM members. The Editorial Board values your input and appreciates your contributions. We are grateful for your encouragement and support. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, thoughts, suggestions, or comments to  Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, MPH, FAAP at [email protected].

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