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