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Anaesthesia. 2002 Mar;57(3):270-5.

The management of pain following day-case surgery.

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  • 1University Department of Anaesthesia, Manchester Royal Infirmary, UK.


The object of this study was to assess patients' experience of pain management following day surgery. One hundred and two patients agreed to take part in a telephone survey, 2 and 4 days following day surgery. The majority of patients (73%) were broadly satisfied with the quality of pain management they received, however, there was room for improvement. Despite modern anaesthesia and surgery, 17% of patients surveyed reported having severe pain immediately following day-case surgery. The majority (82%) of patients left the day-case ward in pain and an even higher proportion (88%) had pain at some time between 2 and 4 days postoperatively. Severe levels of pain following discharge from hospital were a concern for 21% of patients. It was reported that day-case staff did not always ask patients whether they were in pain. Communication with patients is vital in the delivery of optimal care. More support and more information are needed to manage patients' pain effectively, whilst in the day-case wards and also following discharge, at home.

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