Background and aims SSTS is a preprogrammed, non invasive, patient-activated bed-side system that enables patients to manage moderate-severe acute pain in a hospital setting. Our aim is to evaluate efficacy, ease of use of SSTS, patients and nurses’ satisfaction.
Methods We evaluate pain control and general satisfaction in patients treated with SSTS after general or orthopedic prosthetic surgery. Enrollment started on April the 1st at Policlinico Paolo Giaccone in Palermo and is still ongoing. SSTS allows patients to self-administer a 15-μg sufentanil tablet sublingually with a 20-minute lockout, up to 72 hours. We visit patients three times per day, recording pain control (NRS scale), arterial blood pressure (NIBP), cardiac rate (hr), capillary oxygen saturation (spO2), need for rescue analgesic drugs, and any collateral effects. We also evaluate nurses’ and patients’ satisfaction using written questionnaires.
Results We can provide preliminary data on a small number of patients (n=10), among which we found good pain control, with 66% of patients having ≤4 points at NRS at 75% of the measurements. NIBP is 132/74 mmhg (average). HR average is 68 bpm. SpO2 is > 90%, only one patient shows 87% due to his comorbidities. One patient needed rescue analgesic drug (ketorolac). Collateral effects were nausea, vomiting, asthenia and sleepiness. We also register a good satisfaction about SSTS, with 66% of patients giving the best evaluation to 82% of the surveyed items.
Conclusions Our preliminary results show that SSTS is an effective device for post-operative pain control but requires further literature to confirm the role in post-surgical pain management.
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