chapter  12
Pain management in critical care
ByJohn Williams & Jonathan Thompson
Pages 18

Pain is reported by up to 79 per cent of hospital inpatients

and is a significant problem in the intensive care unit (ICU).

In a large multicentre investigation of over 5000 patients from

five US teaching hospitals (the SUPPORT study), almost 50

per cent of ICU patients overall and over 60 per cent of those

with colonic cancer or liver failure complained of pain.1

Fifteen per cent of patients had ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’ pain at

least half the time. Surprisingly, however, less than 15 per