Prevalence of acute pain in patients attending the emergency room

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Despite the importance of acute pain in the health-disease process, there are few studies about its prevalence in emergency services that function as a gateway to health services. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of acute pain in an emergency room setting. METHODS: The data were collected from September 2016 to June 2017, using the medical records of patients treated in the emergency service in 2015. Considering the average of 8,000 visits per month, we adopted a random sampling process using categorical variables, and it was estimated a sample of 4,064 records. RESULTS: The pain was present among older people (39.6 years) when compared to patients who had pain and other symptoms associated (37.0 years) (p=0.000). There was a higher concentration of demand for the service by women (55.3%) due to pain and other causes, and for acute pain, the demand was 50.1% of females. In risk classification, 86.6% was characterized not urgent, and 99.6% sought service on their own. Only 0.5% of patients affected by acute pain were referred to other services. CONCLUSION: The study showed that the majority of the care demand at the emergency room is of little complexity and could be attended at the primary care unit. The pain is present in all types of care, and the objective is to relieve the pain, leading patients to look for an agile and decisive service.