Doha, 14 October, 2020: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Al Wakra Hospital has introduced a new service aimed at improving acute pain management in surgical patients and patients with burn injuries. The new physician-led service is staffed by a team of three nurses specialized in pain management and there are plans to increase the number of staff assigned to the service as it expands. Dr. Abdullah Fathi Nazal, a Consultant specialized in Anesthesiology and Pain Management at Al Wakra Hospital said the new service is part of ongoing expansions aimed at ensuring patients have access to the best possible care.
“Pain management is a branch of medicine that uses an interdisciplinary approach to ease suffering and improve the quality of life of those living with pain, especially those with severe or chronic pain. The discipline uses evidence-based guidelines to diagnose and manage pain as part of ensuring the best care of patients,” said Dr. Nazal.
“In general, surgical patients start to feel discomfort and pain after they leave the operating theater. This leaves medical and nursing teams searching for a way to ease the pain as part of keeping the patient comfortable and supporting their recovery. The newly formed pain management team will follow each patient from the time they leave the operating theater until they are discharged from hospital,” added Dr. Nazal.
Burn pain management is complex. To achieve a high level of pain control, pain must be regularly and adequately assessed and management tailored to the needs of each patient. Patient-controlled analgesia, which allows the patient to administer their own pain relief, and lumbar epidural injections are commonly used in the care of patients with acute pain. The dosage of analgesic medication and the pain management method used to relieve pain are determined according to the patient’s medical condition and weight. In cases where the patient is given self-controlled pain management devices, the pain management team provides continuous monitoring to ensure the appropriate use of the device.
Dr. Nazal says effective pain management, tailored to the type of wound, the stage of healing, and any necessary surgical interventions, is essential to minimizing negative pain influences and maximizing recovery, both physical and psychological. He says inadequate pain management is detrimental to the recovery of patients and can create fear and anxiety about undergoing additional treatment, including surgery, and can also result in slow healing.
He says quick healing of wounds is essential to limiting the risk of infections and associated medical conditions, including stroke. Dr. Nazal said faster healing also helps ensure patients spend less time in the hospital, freeing up hospital beds for other patients and helping to reduce waitlists.
The new acute pain management team has received intensive training during the past year, spanning both theoretical and practical hands-on instruction working in recovery rooms with patients. The team members currently provide weekly training sessions on pain management for other nurses.
Dr. Sabah Adnan Al Qadhi, Medical Director of Al Wakra Hospital, Dr. Mohamed Haylani, Head of Anesthesiology at HMC, Dr. Ibrahim El Boursaly, Head of Anesthesiology at Al Wakra Hospital, and Ms. Shelly Henrikson, Executive Director of Nursing at Al Wakra Hospital have all provided their support for the new service. It is expected the service will be expanded to include all patients with more staff being trained and the service being rolled out to other hospitals across HMC.