I have a problem with pain management. Ordinary otc pain medication doesn’t work well, and often regular doses of pain shots don’t have enough effect. But I formed a helpful hypothesis this fall in an ER and then subsequently in the hospital. I hope it works for others not getting enough pain relief. What I learned is that the magic number is 7 (SEVEN). It is very standard practice to ask one to rank one’s pain from 0 to 10. A few quick tests indicated that at 7 and above one gets codeine; below that you are in the tylenol region.
I’m white, so it may not help with the following shocking problem reported in the NYT, but the authors of the relevant studies say that communication may be a central problem:
White patients receive more pain treatment in emergency rooms than African-Americans and other minorities, a new study reports.
Researchers studied four years of data collected nationwide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They used a sample of 6,710 visits to 350 emergency rooms by patients 18 and older with acute abdominal pain.
White and black patients reported severe pain with the same frequency — about 59 percent. But after controlling for age, insurance status, income, degree of pain and other variables, the researchers found that compared with non-Hispanic white people, non-Hispanic blacks and other minorities were 22 percent to 30 percent less likely to receive pain medication. Patients were also less likely to receive pain medicine if they were over 75 or male, lacked private insurance or were treated at a hospital with numerous minority patients. The study is in the journal http://journals.lww.com/lww-medicalcare/Abstract/2015/12000/Analgesic_Access_for_Acute_Abdominal_Pain_in_the.3.aspx. …
The journal linked to gives one only the abstract, but that makes available a good sense of the studies and their scope. And the urgency of the problem.