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Pain and analgesia: considerations for the elderly in critical care.


A large percentage of patients in critical care are older than 65 years old. Pain is a problem common to the elderly receiving critical care. Effective management of pain is accomplished through collaboration between nursing and medicine. Understanding physiologic changes experienced with aging and anticipated changes in functional abilities is necessary to the development of a pain-management plan and to providing comprehensive nursing care. Pharmacologic analgesia will be a part of the pain-management plan, with consideration given to the effects on the elderly.

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