Intravenous Acetaminophen use in Postoperative Pain Management
Surgery is a most common source of acute pain and effective postoperative pain management is crucial for wound healing and recovery. Opiods are the mainstay for acute pain management but have various adverse effects including death. The multimodal approach involves the use of multiple drugs with varying mechanism of action to achieve optimal pain relief with less adverse effects. Intravenous acetaminophen (IVAPAP) is a new addition to the multimodal approach that appears to afford effective pain relief with a low risk profile. The purpose of this research study was to examine the impact of IVAPAP use in multimodal pain management on decreased opioid consumption and decreased average length of hospital stay in the post colectomy population. A comparative two group retrospective chart review was conducted, with a total of 72 charts meeting the inclusion criteria. Group 1(n=36) study subjects who received IVAPAP for pain management were compared to Group 2(n=36) subjects who had not received IVAPAP after colectomy. Results demonstrated that Group 1, those who had received IVAPAP, used less opioids during the postoperative period as compared to those in Group 2 who had not received IVAPAP; there was no difference in length of stay between the groups. Further research related to the use of multimodal pain management strategies in general, and related to IVAPAP in particular, is indicated. Recommendations and implications for advanced practice nursing are presented and discussed.