Acute post-operative pain management at the Kenyatta National Hospital
Kimani, G Mbugua
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Background The under-treatment of pain has been associated with delayed patient recovery and prolonged hospital stay. In addition, it is associated with significant emotional distress and physiological consequences, especially in the immediate post-operative period. Poorly managed post-operative pain, among other factors, has been identified as a predictive factor for the development of chronic pain after surgery. Even with the acknowledgement of the importance of effective post-operative pain management, a good number of patients (up to 70%) still complain of moderate to severe post-operative pain. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate success of current intraoperative pain management in patients undergoing surgery under general anaesthesia at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Methods The study was designed as a Cross sectional observational survey. 166 patients underwent surgery under general anaesthesia. Following completion of surgery, the patients anaesthetic records were analyzed and the postoperative pain score taken using the Numerical Rating Scale. Results In this study 10.8% of patients complaining of severe post-operative pain, 29.9% complaining of moderate pain and 46.1% of patients complaining of mild post-operative pain. 13.2% of patients did not have any pain. Conclusion Post-operative pain following general anaesthesia is still not adequately addressed.