Hong Kong Med J 2002;8:196-201 | Number 3, June 2002
Acute pain services in Hong Kong: facilities, volume, and quality
CT Hung, LL Lau, CK Chan, B Chow, PT Chui, B Ho, MC Kung, J Lui, T Hui, E Ho, SF Chan, PP Chen
Department of Anaesthesiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 30 Gascoigne Road, Hong Kong
Acute pain services in public hospitals in Hong Kong were studied. Audit data on the volume and quality of acute pain services were collected prospectively from 1997 to 1999, and data on related facilities were collected in 2000. About 20% of patients undergoing a major operation received an acute pain service; of these, 78.6% were satisfied with the treatment provided. In 2000, 86% (18/21) of hospitals providing anaesthetic services were running an acute pain service. Staffing was better in hospitals providing a high volume of acute pain services, ranging from a full-time specialist anaesthesiologist assisted by a half-time trainee to a half-time specialist assisted by a full- or half-time trainee. However, only four hospitals were staffed with pain nurses. In total, 57% of patients received intravenous patient-controlled analgesia and 32% epidural analgesia. The mean duration of acute pain service treatment was 3.1 days. Currently anaesthesiologist-based acute pain services take care of a limited number of patients. To expand the coverage, there should be a move towards an anaesthesiologist-led, pain nurse–based, acute pain service. The present shortage of pain nurses should be addressed.
Key words: Analgesia, patient-controlled; Pain clinics; Personal satisfaction
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