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Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign..Or Not?

At the moment, there is much debate about whether or not pain levels should be considered "the fifth vital sign."  This idea came about some years ago when pain control became one of the quality measures in hospital care. The hospitals, in turn, relied mostly on medication to score well on those quality measures.  Who does this idea really benefit in the end...the hospital, who may benefit from higher insurance or Medicare reimbursements due to higher scores...or the patient?

I am interested in what you might think about this topic; feel free to comment if you like.  My own personal opinion is that pain is NOT a vital sign because it's not a measure of life and death.  But I also believe that it is important to help people manage their pain levels as much as possible.  It means that those who are suffering should learn self-management from the earliest point possible, and showing them all the options that are possible, and where to find those options.

In the past we were too quick to resort to using medications, especially opioids, from the onset of a problem.  That is how we got where we are now.  It's time to re-think our approach and make more use of all the alternative and complementary practices that are available to us!

Sources: MedPage Today; Pixabay


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Sources: prweb;;YouTube

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