How to know how much it hurts? PainAPPle is an application that measures pain in children

Knowing how much pain a child feels is not easy to decipher. There is no mathematical rule. Parents learn to interpret the suffering of our children because we recognize their crying and as they increase their pain threshold, but how can this be transmitted to the doctor? A very useful application in that sense called PainApple has been launched the Hospital Niño Jesús de Madrid to measure pain in children.

It emerged as a solution to the difficulties encountered by professionals to assess pain and, therefore, determine the most appropriate treatment, in those young children who have not yet learned to speak or have difficulty expressing themselves. But it is an idea that could extend beyond the hospital environment.

In this way, technology became an ally of the smallest, who so far expressed the pain they felt only through crying or pointing to cards with a scale from 1 to 10. PainAPPle integrates the same pain scales but in an attractive way that allow the child to play and interact with the drawings presented on the screen.

Then, these assessments recorded by the application are translated into tables and graphs that assess the child's pain as mild, moderate or severe, and if it is at rest or movement. At the same time, it assesses other possible undesirable effects of the treatment (nausea and vomiting, sedation, respiratory depression, urinary retention, motor blockage and pruritus), all very useful information for doctors.

It is an important advance for children who remain admitted to hospitals, especially for the little ones who still don't know how to express themselves correctly. It is especially useful after traumatology surgeries, those that cause more acute postoperative pain, such as orthopedic or large bone surgeries.

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