What We Do

The Acute Pain Service (APS) provides inpatient consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. The APS is involved when an inpatient requires a Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) device, an epidural or a peripheral nerve plexus catheter. We are available to help when a patient experiences severe or uncontrollable pain after surgery and/or if a patient has difficulty managing chronic pain before surgery.

During the work week (Monday – Friday) we perform dedicated rounds on all inpatients under our care. On evenings and weekends, emergency coverage is provided by the on-call anesthesia staff and residents.

The APS is committed to excellence in patient care. Over the past few years, Quality Assurance guidelines have been implemented in different areas of clinical practice, including Total Joint Arthroplasty, Complex Elbow Surgery, Rapid Recovery after Abdomen Surgery, and Uterine Artery Embolization Procedures.

The Acute Pain Service at Toronto Western Hospital uses NOPAIN (Networked Online Processing of Acute Pain Information), which was developed in-house by the APS staff to improve the care of patients on the service.

NOPAIN is a new electronic program that has improved the delivery, safety and patient satisfaction of acute pain care. Now all patients who are experiencing severe pain in the hospital are assessed using a standardized tool, which captures the information in real-time.

The most important feature of NOPAIN is that there is now a focus on the assessment of outcomes relevant to patients: quality of pain, activity, sleep, side effects, and overall satisfaction. Improved communication between the pain team, referring physicians and nurses is another benefit of this technology.

Our Team

The APS works with surgeons, pharmacists, nurses, allied health, and other health care professionals, to ensure the best patient care. We see patients when requested by the primary medical or surgical team. Our team is made up of:

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioners
  • Advanced-Practice Nurses
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Anesthesia Fellows
  • Anesthesia Residents
  • Pain Physicians

Learn more about our Health Care Professionals.

Our Research

The APS is involved with research and may ask patients to participate voluntarily. There is no change in clinical care, regardless of a patient's involvement in a research study. Learn more about our research.

Our Education

The APS participates in continuing education events. We are regularly asked to educate other physicians, nurses, allied health members, students, residents, and community members about pain management. Learn more about our education initiatives.

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