Jason Wilhelm

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Pain after surgery is one of greatest complaints patients have in the surgical process. It is important to decrease pain after surgery to promote a quicker recovery and minimize complications. Opioids alone have been used to manage post-operative pain in cardiac surgery; However, recently multimodal approaches to pain management are now being explored. This approach involves using multiple medications with varying mechanisms of action for pain relief in addition to decreased adverse effects. Ofirmev (IV acetaminophen) is a relatively new medication for use in cardiac surgery that has few contraindications and side effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate if utilizing the current pain management approach in addition to Ofirmev impacted pain scores in post-operative cardiothoracic patients in a non-experimental retrospective chart review. A two group comparative chart review was conducted for a total of 30 charts to meet inclusion criteria. Group 1 (n=15) received opioid only for pain management were compared to Group 2 (n=15) who received Ofirmev and opioids for pain management after cardiac surgery. Results showed that pain scores at hour 6 and 24 showed significance in favor of Group 2, the Ofirmev group. Results also showed Group 2, the Ofirmev group, consumed less morphine on average than Group 1, opioid only. Unexpectedly, length of stay was on average longer for the Ofirmev group than the non- ofirmev group. The research supports the need to utilize multimodal pain management and alternative techniques to manage pain. This study shows there is a need for further research for pain management with a multimodal approach in cardiac surgery.

Included in

Nursing Commons