Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign

Pain, The Fifth Vital Sign


Got this handout at the Awareness Day rally -- thanks to Jeanne Hess, RN

0 Absence of discomfort

1 Mild pain. Under your conscious radar. Does not interfere with ability to concentrate or perform activities.

2 Discomforting pain. You are periodically aware of discomfort, which subsides with rest, distraction (pleasant activity, music, conversation), change of position, etc.

3 Tolerable, yet annoying pain. NOW is the time to treat with medication in conjunction with comfort measures. Allows best opportunity for effective pain control with the least medication.

4 Pain has your full attention now. "Why didn't I initiate comfort measures and medication sooner?"

5 Moderate pain. Constant, sometimes nauseating pain. Lack of appetite, difficulty concentrating. Begin to isolate self from noise, activity.

6 Grueling, numbing pain. Body tense. Nausea, intolerance for cold, noise and activity increase, mood sinks and increased withdrawal. "Leave me alone."

7 Miserable, agonizing, gnawing pain. "When is SOMETHING going to help?"

8 Horrible, vicious pain. Jaws clenched, respirations rapid & shallow. "WHY isn't anything helping?"

9 Consumed by torturing, crushing unbearable pain. "Get me help NOW!"

10 Physiologically intolerable pain. Loss of consciousness.















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