Pain Management
Definitions of Pain
Common Barriers
Important Terms
Morphine Myths
Duty to Relieve Pain
Five Principles
Fifth Vital Sign
Pain Assessment
Begin with the patient
Types of pain

Symptom Management
Making Pain the Fifth Vital Sign™

The American Pain Society created the phrase “Pain: the Fifth Vital Sign” to increase awareness of the importance of pain management, not just in end of life care, but for every patient. Vital signs are routine and essential data gathered daily that influences the course of care. Routinely asking about pain when taking the patient’s blood pressure, pulse and respirations, and then performing a pain assessment as necessary, can spare the patient and family/caregiver needless suffering at this transitional time in their lives.

“Quality Care means that pain is measured and treated.”

— American Pain Society, 2005