David A. Miramontes, MD, FACEP, assistant chief of Fire and EMS and EMS Medical Director for the District of Columbia Fire and EMS, presented a lecture on current practices in pain management at the EMS Today Conference and Exposition in Washington, D.C., today.
Dr. Miramontes gave the attendees a brief summary of his department’s demographics and EMS response volume:
Miramontes told the audience that before you can treat pain properly, you have to understand what pain is. He presented a definition of pain from the International Association for the Study of Pain: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage…”
He explained that pain really does have several purposes:
Miramontes also explained the classifications of pain, an aspect that he feels all providers need to be keenly aware of when performing patient assessments:
Miramontes noted that there are also a few other types of pain:
He advised attendees that the Wong-Baker Pain Rating Scale is popular in all assessment circles for gauging patient pain levels (see image).
Other key areas Miramontes discussed included:
• Pathophysiology of Acute and Chronic Pain
• Non-Pharmacology Pain Management
• Opiates in Pain Management
• Intranasal Medication Therapy
• Pharmacokinetics of Intranasal Route
• Ketamine in Pain Management
• Other pain medications
EMS Today conference sessions will continue through Saturday. The conference will return to D.C. next year, February 4-8, 2014. For details, go to www.EMSToday.com.