2017 Global Year Events Around the World


From September 27 to October 2, Penang Hospital in Malaysia held "Pain Awareness Week" in conjunction with the Global Year. The event was organized by leaders of the hospital's Pain Free Hospital Initiative (pictured below), which promotes holistic pain management using a multidisciplinary team approach, and many hospital staff participated. Penang Hospital committee

Penang Hospital is a 1,107-bed hospital in the northern region of Malaysia. It has various surgical sub-specialties, with over 7,000 operations performed each year. Its Acute Pain Service covers in-house referrals for all types of acute pain conditions and a pain management clinic for cancer and chronic non-cancer pain.

The program started with stretching exercises and aerobics led by the hospital's physiotherapists, followed by a relaxation therapy session by its occupational therapists. In her speech, hospital director Dato’ Dr. Norsidah emphasized that access to effective pain treatment is critical in the prevention of chronic postsurgical pain and that good pain management has a positive impact on a patient’s quality of life and the cost of treating patients with chronic pain. A brochure for patients on how to manage pain after surgery was made available to health-care providers, patients, and the public.

-- Dr. Usha Rajah, pain specialist and anesthesiologist, Penang Hospital



On January 12, the Portuguese Association for the Study of Pain (APED) held a session to mark the beginning of the Global Year Against Pain After Surgery in the auditorium of the Hospital Prof. Doctor Fernando Fonseca (HFF), in Amadora, Portugal. In an interview with News Farma, Dr. Ana Pedro, president of APED, revealed that "these campaigns allow not only awareness of the issue but also the promotion of research and the translation of this changing research." Watch a video of Dr. Pedro's interview (in Portuguese). During the presentation, APED also awarded three training grants, two in the clinical field and one in the basic sciences, each worth 2,000 euros. 

United Kingdom

On May 2, the Acute Pain Special Interest Group of the British Pain Society (BPS) held a one-day conference in Birmingham on Persistent Postsurgical Pain, which was attended by more than 80 delegates. Prof. Stephan Schug opened the day by providing an overview of Global Year activities related to postsurgical pain. Organized by Dr. Jane Quinlan (Secretary of the Acute Pain SIG) together with Dr. Ruth Day and Felicia Cox, presentations were delivered from such disciplines as epidemiology, basic science, nursing, medicine, and surgery.

Speaking after the event, Cox was delighted by the contribution of Prof. Schug, who the following day delivered his plenary lecture, “Continuum of Acute to Chronic Pain After Surgery” at the BPS 50th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). “His presence encouraged the audience to actively participate in the expert panel discussion and throughout the day,” she said. “The latest evidence on reducing the risk of persistent postsurgical pain has made us reflect on current UK practice.”

Three other acute pain events were planned in the UK in 2017. A session in the professional program at the annual Royal College of Nursing Congress (May, in Liverpool) provided an update on perioperative pain management. An event at the Royal Society of Medicine (July, in London) helped clinicians dealing with challenging patients with acute pain. And the National Acute Pain Symposium featured Dr. Patricia Lavand'homme, who gave a plenary lecture on chronic postsurgical pain. NAPS is the longest running acute pain meeting in the world.