What is pain medicine?
Pain medicine deals with acute and chronic/complex pain management. Acute pain management is for children before, during and after surgery or other painful procedures. Chronic or complex pain services are provided to children who have persistent ongoing pain.
How do we help children with pain medicine?
The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN) pain medicine service is provided at both The Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW) and Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick (SCH).
The acute pain management service works in close collaboration with the Department of Anaesthesia and reinforces the approach that peri-operative (before, during and after surgery) pain management begins with peri-operative consultation and includes intra-operative and post-operative analgesic management. The acute pain services also supervise and consult on nitrous oxide procedural sedation throughout the two hospitals.
Chronic or complex pain services of the SCHN provide expertise in the management of complex and intractable pain in children with cancer and non-cancer diagnoses and receive state-wide referrals from specialist paediatricians, paediatric surgeons and GPs. The services supervise the management of children with persisting post-operative pain who have been discharged home receiving long-term opioids and/or analgesic therapy. A significant feature of these services in keeping children well and out of hospital is a nurse led telephone follow-up service at both sites.
An interactive website, Pain Bytes, was developed by health practitioners in New South Wales and is a way for young people to access strategies for pain management and share individual stories. This on-line tool is research based