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Neuropathic pain experienced by a young adult at the end of life
  1. Claire Tickner, Staff Nurse
  1. at the time of writing, was a Staff Nurse, St Christopher’s Hospice, London

Abstract

This article examines the care of Katie, a 27-year-old woman with terminal cancer who was admitted to a hospice for control of neuropathic pain. This type of pain can be difficult to treat. The term neuropathic includes a range of syndromes wherein pain arises from disease or injury affecting peripheral and/or central nerves. It is essential that this type of pain is identified. It has been found that nurses lack pain assessment and management skills. This article discusses neuropathic pain and analyses the pharmacological aspects of its treatment. The particular needs of the young adult with terminal cancer are also explored. Young adults who have cancer may experience greater difficulty than older cancer patients in terms of coping with their new-found loss of independence. Recommendations are made for future practice. Patient details have been changed to respect confidentiality, according to Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008) guidelines. Conflicts of interest: none

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