Thursday, November 25, 2010

The 5th Vital Sign


In my previous post, I discussed about the assessment of pain by using the SOCRATES structure. The last point in assessing pain being the severity of pain. Many scales are available in determining pain severity. The most commonly used ones are: The Combined numerical rating/visual analogue scale, Wong-Baker Faces Scale and the FLACC scale. 

The Combined numerical rating/visual analogue scale:
The patient is asked to rate the pain on a numerical scale where zero (0) is no pain and ten (10) is the worst pain imaginable. In order to assist the patient, he/she is asked to slide the indicator along the scale to show the severity of the pain.


Wong-Baker Faces Scale
Patient is asked to choose a face which best describes the pain. The number on the face chosen is multiplied by two to give a score from zero to 10.


The FLACC scale
Rating scale to be used for children less than 3 years of age or other patients who cannot self-report. Can also be used in cognitively impaired or demented adults.



Different scales are used in adult and pediatric patients.


Reference: 
PEKELILING KETUA PENGARAH KESIHATAN BILANGAN 9 TAHUN 2008; PELAKSANAAN TAHAP KESAKITAN SEBAGAI TANDA VITAL KELIMA (PAIN AS FIFTH VITAL SIGN) DI HOSPITAL-HOSPITAL KEMENTERIAN KESIHATAN.





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