Acute Pain

Saturday, January 21, 2012 ·
Acute Pain NANDA Definition: Unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage (International Association for the Study of Pain); sudden or slow onset of any intensity from mild to severe with an anticipated or predictable end and a duration of less than 6 months

Pain is a highly subjective state in which a variety of unpleasant sensations and a wide range of distressing factors may be experienced by the sufferer. Pain may be a symptom of injury or illness. Pain may also arise from emotional, psychological, cultural, or spiritual distress. Pain can be very difficult to explain, because it is unique to the individual; pain should be accepted as described by the sufferer. Pain assessment can be challenging, especially in elderly patients, where cognitive impairment and sensory-perceptual deficits are more common.

Acute Pain Defining Characteristics
  • Patient reports pain
  • Guarding behavior, protecting body part
  • Self-focused
  • Narrowed focus (e.g., altered time perception, withdrawal from social or physical contact)
  • Relief or distraction behavior (e.g., moaning, crying, pacing, seeking out other people or activities, restlessness)
  • Facial mask of pain
  • Alteration in muscle tone: listlessness or flaccidness; rigidity or tension
  • Autonomic responses (e.g., diaphoresis; change in blood pressure [BP], pulse rate; pupillary dilation; change in respiratory rate; pallor; nausea)
Acute Pain Related Factors:
  • Postoperative pain
  • Cardiovascular pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Obstetrical pain
  • Pain resulting from medical problems
  • Pain resulting from diagnostic procedures or medical treatments
  • Pain resulting from trauma
  • Pain resulting from emotional, psychological, spiritual, or cultural distress
NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)
Suggested NOC Labels
  • Comfort Level
  • Medication Response
  • Pain Control
NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)
Suggested NIC Labels
  • Analgesic Administration
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Pain Management
  • Patient-Controlled Analgesia Assistance
  • Expected Outcomes
  • Patient verbalizes adequate relief of pain or ability to cope with incompletely relieved pain.

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