Pain free treatment of children and adolescents

Properly performed analgesia protects children from pain and traumatization. In the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107(14): 241-7), Christoph Neuhäuser and his colleagues show how analgesia for children and adolescents should be carried out.

Medical interventions can be very unpleasant. However, we know that they are necessary and that they will help us, so we grit our teeth until the grueling procedure has been got through. On the other hand, children are often incapable of grasping the situation in which they find themselves and the possible consequences. They tend to regard painful treatment as a threat and suffer enormous psychological stress.

Children’s special needs are all too often neglected in pain therapy. This can have dire consequences and traumatize the child. If properly used, analgesia and analgesic sedation can prevent this.

Analgesic sedation is a variant of anesthesia, with the advantage that the patient does not have to be respirated, but breathes independently. The patient’s condition resembles deep sleep. However, there are risks with analgesic sedation. Children often need higher doses than adults relative to body weight, but are more susceptible to complications. Neuhäuser et al. provide recommendations for the successful use of analgesic sedation in children and adolescents. /Hei

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