The Acute Pain Service at The George Washington University Hospital is a consult service that helps patients manage post-operative and post-traumatic pain.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and uses many of the latest techniques to reduce and control your pain during your hospital stay.

The Team

The Acute Pain Service team consists of attending anesthesiologists, anesthesiology residents and registered nurses. The team uses its exceptional range of skills, training, experience and knowledge to evaluate each patient’s needs and develop individualized treatment plans.

Treatment Options

The Acute Pain Service at GW Hospital offers a number of treatment options, including:

  • Multimodal medication management—Uses a combination of pain relief medications, each of which act in a different way, to help control pain.
  • Patient controlled analgesia (PCA)—Allows patients to independently and safely self-administer pain medication as needed through an intravenous catheter.
  • Peripheral nerve blocks—The injection of local anesthetic next to a patient’s nerve in their arms or legs to reduce pain. A small catheter may be placed to continuously infuse local anesthetic. This can be done for inpatients or outpatients.
  • Paravertebral block—The injection of local anesthetic near the nerves that exit from the spinal canal. A small catheter may be placed to continuously infuse local anesthetic to the thoracic or lumbar region of the back. This can be done for inpatients or outpatients.
  • Epidural analgesia—The administration of local anesthetics continuously infused through a small catheter placed in the space inside the spinal canal.
  • Patient controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA)—Allows patients to independently control delivery of pain medication that is administered via a catheter placed in the epidural space.
  • Ketamine infusion therapy—An analgesic, administered intravenously in low dosages over a period of several days to manage pain.