Evaluation of pain during mobilization and endotracheal aspiration in critical patients

G. Robleda, F. Roche-Campo, L. Membrilla-Martínez, A. Fernández-Lucio, M. Villamor-Vázquez, A. Merten, I. Gich, J. Mancebo, E. Català-Puigbó, J. E. Baños

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17 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier España, S.L.U. and SEMICYUC. Objectives: 1) To assess the prevalence of pain during nursing care procedures, and 2) to evaluate the usefulness of certain vital signs and the bispectral index (BIS) in detecting pain. Methods: A prospective, observational analytical study was made of procedures (endotracheal aspiration and mobilization with turning) in critically ill sedated patients on mechanical ventilation. The Behavioral Pain Scale was used to assess pain, with scores of ≥ 3 indicating pain. Various physiological signs and BIS values were recorded, with changes of > 10% being considered clinically relevant. Results: A total of 146 procedures in 70 patients were analyzed. Pain prevalence during the procedures was 94%. Vital signs and BIS values increased significantly during the procedures compared to resting conditions, but only the changes in BIS were considered clinically relevant. In the subgroup of patients receiving preemptive analgesia prior to the procedure, pain decreased significantly compared to the group of patients who received no such analgesia (-2 [IQR: [-5]-0] vs. 3 [IQR: 1-4]; P < .001, respectively). Conclusions: The procedures evaluated in this study are painful. Changes in vital signs are not good indicators of pain. Changes in BIS may provide useful information about pain, but more research is needed. The administration of preemptive analgesia decreases pain during the procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-104
JournalMedicina Intensiva
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Critically-ill patients
  • Mobilization with turning Bispectral index
  • Pain assessment
  • Procedural pain
  • Tracheal aspiration


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