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Maria Fitzgerald, Professor of Developmental Neurobiology at University College London, mentions the outdated theory that babies do not experience pain and how this misconception has been disproved.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.
- 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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