CE: Managing Postoperative Pain

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Abstract

Acute postoperative pain remains undertreated despite the dramatic increase in opioid prescribing in the United States over the past 20 years. Inadequately relieved postoperative pain may be a risk factor for persistent postoperative pain, chronic pain, and disability. In an effort to promote evidence-based strategies for optimal postoperative pain management, the American Pain Society published a new postoperative pain management guideline in 2016. Its 32 recommendations for interdisciplinary and multimodal postoperative pain management are stratified according to risks and benefits, based on varying levels of evidence. This article aims to help nurses translate the recommendations into clinical practice, while providing the historical context in which the guidelines emerged and describing current events that may affect guideline implementation.

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