43 percent of the people who enter the service emergencies of a hospital show acute pain as the main symptom, according to the data obtained by an epidemiological study recently conducted by the Spanish Society of Pain (SED) in collaboration with the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine and Emergencies (SEMES), who have presented during the celebration of World Pain Day.

In Spain there are more than ten million people suffering chronic pain, which represents 22% of the population. In spite of this high incidence, the SED study has verified that in the emergency units of the hospitals, neither adequate assessment nor treatment of pain is carried out, since in four out of ten investigated centers they did not use an appropriate scale to measure patients' pain, and only 9% of hospitals had specialized training programs to manage acute pain aimed at emergency professionals.

Pain is a pathology in itself, which causes great suffering, and which generates an increase in costs, both direct and indirect.

The Spanish Society of Pain has long claimed the need to train health professionals to address pain, and point out that this requires establishing specific training programs, which are not currently available. Since the SED warn that pain is a pathology in itself, causing great suffering, and that generates an increase in costs, both direct (patient care: staff, hospitalization costs, materials ...), and indirect (loss of working days, pensions ...).

The SED has also highlighted that in 42% of the hospitals included in the study, quantifying pain was not a common practice in the emergency services, which, in the opinion of Dr. Rosalía de la Torre, a member of the Acute Pain Work of the SED, is very important, as is the evaluation of the analgesic treatment administered to the patient, and the pain it presents at discharge.

In view of the results of the SED study, and in the framework of the celebration of the World Day Against Pain, it has been proposed to establish measures that contribute to improve the diagnosis and treatment of pain in the emergency services of hospitals, such as continuing education for health professionals who integrate these services, the systematic quantification of pain, and the integration of initiatives of the Pain Units in the hospital emergency services.

Source: Spanish Society of Pain (SED)

101 Facts About Spain (November 2019).