Pain keeps surgery patients awake and extends hospital stay

25 September 2014

New research has found that a loss of sleep because of pain after an operation is causing patients to stay in hospital longer after certain procedures.

The analysis, conducted by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, found that patients who experienced bad sleep after their hip or knee replacement surgery reported higher pain scores.

"Our results show that increased pain scores result in decreased sleep duration," said study lead author Dr Anya Miller, with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

She added that better pain control could help improve sleep for these patients and get them home sooner. 

Presented at the 2014 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery annual meeting in Orlando, the study looked at 50 patients who had just had knee or hip replacement in a hospital that observed a "quiet time" between 10pm and 6am, where the lights are dimmed and doors closed.

This setting helped the team to better determine the relationship between sleep disruption and pain and looked at patients' total sleep time, sleep efficiency, pain scores and use of narcotics for pain.

Dr Miller said identifying factors that can disrupt sleep in the hospitals could help improve sleep quality and potentially "decrease adverse outcomes".

Posted by Philip Briggs​


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