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Airing Pain 44: Pain Management at Both Extremes of Life

Pain expe­ri­enced by the very young and very old and the sim­i­lar issues aris­ing when deal­ing with these very dif­fer­ent types of patient

This edi­tion has been fund­ed by the Big Lot­tery Fund’s Awards for All Pro­gramme in North­ern Ireland.

In this edi­tion of Air­ing Pain, Paul Evans speaks to experts from Belfast and Lon­don about the sim­i­lar­i­ties, dif­fer­ences and chal­lenges in treat­ing pain in infants and the elderly.

Maria Fitzger­ald, Pro­fes­sor of Devel­op­men­tal Neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy at Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don, men­tions the out­dat­ed the­o­ry that babies do not expe­ri­ence pain and how this mis­con­cep­tion has been dis­proved. She rais­es the issue of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, per­haps the biggest prob­lem with babies and the elder­ly (par­tic­u­lar­ly those with demen­tia) — if they can­not com­mu­ni­cate about their pain effec­tive­ly, their pain often can­not be ade­quate­ly addressed. She also dis­cuss­es the sci­en­tif­ic research she and her team are car­ry­ing out as well as the impor­tance of treat­ing pain at an ear­ly age.

Paul speaks to Dr Pamela Bell, Chair of the Pain Alliance of North­ern Ire­land and for­mer Lead Clin­i­cian for Pain Ser­vices at the Belfast Trust. She dis­cuss­es how pain treat­ments work for infants and the con­se­quences of not man­ag­ing pain dur­ing the ear­ly stages of their development .

Peter Pass­more, Pro­fes­sor of Aging and Geri­atric Med­i­cine at Queen’s Uni­ver­si­ty Belfast, talks to us about the large num­ber of demen­tia patients who are thought to live with pain and the need for med­ical staff and car­ers to be able to recog­nise changes in the patients’ behav­iour and there­fore become more able to address their pain.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Elder­ly peo­ple, chil­dren and young peo­ple, infants, com­mu­ni­cat­ing pain, ner­vous sys­tem devel­op­ment, in utero, dur­ing ges­ta­tion, pre­ma­ture babies, EEG, non-inva­sive pro­ce­dures, brain activ­i­ty, pain his­to­ry, pyloric steno­sis, key­hole surgery, demen­tia, mem­o­ry, nurs­ing homes, surgery and observ­ing behaviour.


Con­trib­u­tors:

  • Maria Fitzger­ald, Pro­fes­sor of Devel­op­men­tal Neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy at Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege London
  • Dr Pamela Bell, Chair of the Pain Alliance of North­ern Ire­land and for­mer Lead Clin­i­cian for Pain Ser­vices at the Belfast Trust
  • Peter Pass­more, Pro­fes­sor of Aging and Geri­atric Med­i­cine at Queen’s Uni­ver­si­ty, Belfast.

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