Should Chronic Pain Patients Be Treated in the ER?

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What happens when a chronic pain patient goes to the ER?

Roo in sprinklerIn the video below, A Chronic Pain Patient in the ER, a chronic pain patient is presented as either untruthful or mentally unstable. I’m not even sure which. However, the point of the video and many of the comments is that chronic pain patients are viewed this way, especially in the emergency room. Therefore, they say, the ER is no place for chronic pain patients.

The character wiggles and whines and that’s funny. But she knows the name of too many drugs and that sounds fishy. She’s been seen by too many doctors and that’s suspicious behavior. She’s had too many negative tests, which indicates she’s probably not very sick.

Yes, the video is funny, but my final verdict on YouTube was a thumbs down. I wish the author had not said this in reply to many comments: “if it offends you, perhaps it hits 2 close 2 home.” It makes it more difficult to see him as fair.

Most chronic pain patients probably go to the ER reluctantly

Probably closer to the truth is that many patients with chronic pain are unwilling patients like I was and often still am. I hope you’ll read that personal version of my story which I have only shared there on e-patients.net. I shared it hoping it will encourage patients to be willing to seek the care they need. But I also hoped it might make a difference in the way people view chronic pain patients. We don’t want to be chronic pain patients any more than others want us to be.

Whether or not the depiction in the video is funny or accurate, do you think that chronic pain patients can or should be treated properly for pain by going to the ER? Will they be able to get the tests or treatments they need?

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010 at 6:00 am and is filed under Can we laugh now?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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