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Pain management

The pain team is run by Dr Peter Stoddart (consultant anaesthetist) and Sarah Parry (clinical nurse specialist) with the aim of reducing pain in children undergoing surgery or medical procedures. The pain team is available 24 hours a day to care for children suffering from pain.

Methods of providing pain relief after an operation

Sometimes it is enough to provide simple pain relief - like paracetamol or ibuprofen like substances.

For more painful procedures, the anaesthetist may elect to use an infusion of morphine running into a vein. Extra doses may be given by pressing a button. For younger children, a qualified member of the nursing staff will undertake this task on the ward. Children aged over six years may be able to press the button themselves (patient controlled analgesia). 

Other methods of pain relief include injections of local anaesthetic while the child is asleep. Local anaesthetic can be used to numb a surgical wound, or individual nerves - such as in the leg for orthopaedic surgery. Occasionally local anaesthetic is used around nerves as they enter the spine. In this case the injection of local anaesthetic is called a spinal anaesthetic, caudal anaesthetic or epidural anaesthetic.  

All of this will be explained in far greater detail during the preoperative assessment by your anaesthetist, together with the merits and risks of each method of pain relief.  

The following patient leaflets may be of interest.

Caring For You Child After A Tonsillectomy

Information Sheet For A Pca For Children

Information Sheet For An Epidural For Children

Will I Have A Sore Throat After My Tonsillectomy