Chap. 18 Pain management, comfort, rest, sleep

Acute pain
intense and of short duration, usually lasting less than 6 months. Provides warning to individual of actual or potential tissue damage
Chronic pain
generally characterized as pain lasting longer than 6 months. Does not serve as warning of tissue damage in process; rather, it signals that such damage has occurred
Endorphins
potent polypeptides composed of many amino acids, found in pituitary gland & other areas of CNS. Stress & pain activate endorphins
Gate control theory
suggests that pain impulses are regulated & even blocked by gating mechanisms located along the central nervous system. Proposed location of the gates is in the dorsal horn of spinal cord
Noxious
stimulation of the sensory nerve endings
Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)
allows patients to self administer analgesics whenever needed. Portable, computerized pump w/ a chamber for a syringe
Referred pain
felt at site other than injured or diseased organ or part of the body
Syngersitic
the actions of two or more substances or organs achieve an effect that cannot be achieved by an individual substance or organ
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS)
entails use of pocket sized, battery-operated device that provides continuous, mild electric current to skin via electrodes that are attached to stimulator by flexible wires
Visual analog scale
patient marks spot on horizontal line to indicate pain intensity. Intensity increases as line moves from left to right