Team: Darya Fadavi, Jeffrey Feng, Noreen Wauford
Client: Dr. Matthew Haight, DO, Anesthesiologist at UCSF
Problem: Measuring the degree and spatial extent of pain nerve block quantitatively and precisely.
Needs Statement: To measure the degree and spatial extent of pain nerve block both quantitatively and precisely in post-operative thoracic and abdominal adult surgical patients who have been given an epidural for their anesthetic administration.
Currently, there is no direct method of quantifying pain; in clinical practice, patients are most commonly asked to verbally rate their pain on a numeric scale. Several issues and limitations arise from qualitative methods of assessment as they are highly subjective, relying on self-reports of pain from conscious and cooperative patients. Anesthetic treatments, which are largely determined by these responses, vary widely in efficacy as a result. Overall, the current methods increase the amount of time needed by clinicians and nurses to monitor individual patients and the risk of complications, resulting in longer hospital stays. The capability of quantifying the measurement of pain, both by degree/extent and physical region, is fundamentally important as it significantly improves over current methods of pain measurement that are not precise due to their subjective nature.
Population: Post-op thoracic and abdominal adult surgical patients with epidurals.
Outcome: Lower complication rates in postoperative patients.