Developing a pediatric pain service

Sabine Kost-Byerly, George Chalkiadis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Summary Pediatric pain services were first established in larger pediatric centers over two decades ago. Children's acute pain was poorly managed at the time owing to misconceptions, safety concerns, and variability in practice. While many larger pediatric centers now have acute pain services, there remains a need for better pain management in facilities and geographic locations with fewer resources. Institutional acknowledgement and desire to change, appropriate staffing, and funding are major obstacles. Better recognition and assessment as well safer and more efficacious treatment of pain are the principal objectives when establishing a pain service. It is important to determine whether the proposed service intends to treat acute, chronic, procedural, and/or cancer and palliative pain as each requires different skills and resources. An ideal and comprehensive pediatric pain service should be equipped to diagnose and treat acute, persistent (chronic), procedural, and cancer/palliative pain. It is not feasible or necessary for every hospital to manage all. Establishing the scope of practice (based on case mix and caseload) in any given hospital will determine which resources are desired. Country-specific standards, local staffing, and fiscal constraints will influence which resources are available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1024
Number of pages9
JournalPaediatric anaesthesia
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • age
  • developing world
  • education
  • equipment
  • pain
  • quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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