Editor: Nat O’Halloran
Contributor: David D’Silva
Reviewed: Alan Nazha
You are rarely calling the pain team to help make a ‘diagnosis’ in a hospital setting; this should be something already known, or your team is currently in the process of working up; if diagnosis is unknown state so to the pain team.
Giving information over the phone about finer details of the pain itself usually is of little benefit unless it is an atypical presentation. Having said that, you should already have a good idea about the pain if asked.
Usually the pain team will want to know more about:
Red flag: Never prescribe a fentanyl patch (Durogesic) or add extra opioids to a PCA without senior input. Be aware of a new Position Statement by ANZCA cautioning all doctors on the use of sustained release opioids for acute pain. Do not prescribe these without senior input.
Never say this patient has “inorganic pain”, “psychological pain” or “real pain”. If a patient says they have pain we must take their word for it, but you can state words to the effect of “pain is disproportionate to injury”.