No validated method for pain assessment exists for pediatric patients who are receiving mechanical ventilation and require neuromuscular blockade (NMB) in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). So how do we assess pain in this population?
Laures et al completed a survey of 107 PICU nurses and found that 61% use behavioral assessment scales to assess pain in these children. Behavioral assessment scales are not valid for this patient population. Nurses reported relying on physiologic variables when providing pain interventions. The article endorsed a need to create decision-support tools to aid nurses in effectively conducting pain assessments and pain management.