Urge Congress to replace the Numeric Rating Scale with a multidimensional pain assessment

Urge Congress to replace the Numeric Rating Scale with a multidimensional pain assessment

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Savannah Hover started this petition to U.S. Congress and

A 27 year old man has just had a baby. A baby girl, specifically, an unplanned but not unwelcome endeavor. He’s a busy man—one who doesn’t quite have the time or the temper to handle distractions. He doesn’t have time for things such as car accidents, ones that cause severe trauma to the spinal cord resulting in excruciating pain. So he schedules a visit to the doctor in hopes of managing this misfortune—he has a baby girl and a busy life; he doesn’t have time to be rendered incapable due to pain. The doctor is busy, too, and makes the mistake of prescribing the man Vicodin. Far too much Vicodin. What the doctor failed to realize was the man’s history of addiction; the genetic disadvantage and generational trauma that plagues him. The man went to the doctor in hopes of feeling better, and left with a budding addiction to opioids. An addiction that would last the rest of his life, sending him to prison for multiple years and almost killing him on multiple occasions. He has his addiction under control now, but it’s something he’ll struggle with for the rest of his life. If only he hadn’t been in that car accident. If only he had been prescribed 5 Vicodin rather than 30. 

In order to combat the growing opioid epidemic in the United States, U.S. Congress should pass legislation to abolish the uni-dimensional Numeric Rating Scale, replacing it with a multi-dimensional approach of assessing pain. This policy would benefit the United States socially by developing more effective pain management strategies, along with a reduction of opioid prescriptions. While economically, this fosters an environment to focus more on the holistic side of healthcare by benefiting businesses that specialize in such affairs.

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