ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 204-208

Pain assessment in the critically ill mechanically ventilated adult patients: Comparison between skin conductance algesimeter index and physiologic indicators


1 Department of Anaesthesiology, Pain Medicine and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ravinder Kumar Pandey
Department of Anaesthesiology, Pain Medicine and Critical Care, Room No. 5013, 5th Floor Teaching Block, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_489_17

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Background and Objectives: Critically ill patients are unable to communicate effectively, so it is difficult to assess their pain and analgesic requirement. Skin conductance algesimeter (SCA) index is a device that primarily measures changes in skin conductance real time to assess pain. Methods: We planned this quantitative prospective observational study to assess pain in the critically ill mechanically ventilated patients in comparison to physiologic indicators such as blood pressure and heart rate. A repeated measures design was chosen, and a sample size of 180 was taken from 60 patients with sepsis, acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, community-acquired pneumonia, and postsurgical patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The two painful procedures chosen were tracheal suction and patient positioning. The data were collected at rest, at tracheal suctioning, 20 min later at positioning of the patient, and final reading 20 min later. Three testing periods, each including 4 assessments for a total of 12 pain assessments with sixty patients, were completed during each patient's ICU course. A total of six assessments were done with the patient at rest and three each with pain stimulus of tracheal suctioning and patient positioning. Results: There was a significant increase in both hemodynamic variables during painful procedures except for the heart rate during positioning. The correlation between the SCA index and Ramsay scale was negative and significant. Conclusions: This instrument might prove useful to measure pain in uncommunicative critically ill patients and to evaluate the effectiveness of analgesic treatment and adapt it.


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