“Sedation Vs Pain Management” presented on 4th Nov 2007 during the function “Diwali With a Purpose” by Dr. Madhuri – Medical Director
“Although I was not in a position to speak due to health limitations, I dwelt upon a subject of thought “where to draw a line” last year.
There are many gray areas over lapping active form of therapy and palliative care.
Post-operative pain or an injury pain has a short recovery period. As the patient recovers, the pain subsides. In such conditions, the general line of treatment is sedation with cocktail of drugs – anxolytes supported by moderate pain relief drugs.
In cancer, the pain is the most predominant factor of patient’s suffering, while other systems of the body may be working normally. Cancer pain often turns out to be chronic pain beyond a certain stage.
If cancer pain is adequately controlled, the patient can lead an almost normal life.
Pain management in cancer aims at administration of least dosage of drugs coupled with appropriate adjuvants acting as catalysts in controlling the pain. What a cancer patient needs is quality of life with pain adequately controlled.
There is another dimension to cancer pain management. Cancer patient needs emotional and psychological support. In addition the patient looks forward to interact with the near and dear ones to express his/ her thoughts, emotions, anxieties and sentiments. This requires the care giving doctors to maintain the patient to be communicative and in a state of alertness.
Therefore cancer pain management is a science extending to art in bringing about control of “Total Pain”.
Sedation as a line of treatment/ clinical support is therefore not relevant in controlling cancer pain.
All medical professionals provide medical care as per a scientific line of treatment to control the disease which otherwise would have caused pain and suffering to the patient. This fact may not commonly come to the thought of professional doctors, some of whom are unmindful that they are also working towards relieving pain and suffering of their patient.
Relieving others pain is the greatest privilege and brings immense sense of happiness and fulfillment.”