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No pain relief for one out of five patients

One out of five hospital patients experience pain that they feel should have been relieved, a three-year study released Monday.
/ Source: Reuters

One out of five patients at an urban hospital experienced pain they felt should have been relieved, according to a three-year study released Monday.

“We found that patients ... carry a heavy pain burden,” wrote study author Chad Whelan of the University of Chicago.

“A large percentage of our study patients had experienced pain, and a significant percentage was dissatisfied with the pain management that they had received,” he added.

Overall, 59 percent of the more than 5,500 hospital patients in the three-year study said they experienced pain, with 28 percent reporting it was severe.

“It may be important to think of all (hospital) patients ... as being at high risk for pain, just as we do for patients with cancer and for critically ill and postoperative patients,” Whelan wrote in the report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.