Ray and Paplham listed clinical findings that may indicate that pain following a minor procedure is abnormal. These may be an early indication of an underlying complication. A patient with one or more of these findings should contact the physician for further instructions. The authors are from the University of Colorado in Denver.


NOTE: These would not apply following major surgery or an orthopedic procedure.


Findings suggesting abnormal pain after a procedure:

(1) The pain does not subside within 48 hours.

(2) The pain improves initially but then becomes worse.

(3) The pain is not controlled by an over-the-counter (OTC) analgesic.

(4) The pain is associated with erythema and/or discharge at the procedural site.


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