Friday, July 27, 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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