There are few things more distressing to witness than a child suffering from unrelieved pain. Medicines that reduce and relieve pain in children are available but few doctors are skilled in prescribing them. As a result, millions of children diagnosed with serious illnesses suffer needlessly. Their pain is under-assessed and inadequately treated. This project aims to raise awareness of the need for assessing a child's pain and upskill medical professionals to provide appropriate treatment.
Chronic or severe pain is a common presenting problem in children with complex, life-shortening or life-threatening illnesses and conditions. Despite this, pain in children is frequently under assessed and inadequately treated. Appropriate pain assessment tools exist as do medicines that can relieve most pain in children when used correctly or in combination with other medicines. However, many doctors and nurses working in low and middle income countries remain unaware and uninformed.
Through online and face-to-face events ICPCN will provide approved training on the assessment and management of both chronic and acute pain in children, with particular relevance to those in need of palliative care. While globally relevant we will focus on professionals working in low and middle income countries. We will promote the use of the free ICPCN Pain Assessment Tool for Children and provide resources & information on pain and symptom control for children with complex medical conditions.
Research has shown that the provision of palliative care to a child with a life threatening illness, including the assessment and expert management of their pain and discomfort, has the potential to vastly improve that child's quality of life. By training and mentoring doctors and nurses from low and middle income countries in pain assessment and pain management, there is the potential to vastly improve the quality of life of many thousands of children around the world.