September as "Pain Awareness Month"

  • by: Charlena Aguilar
  • recipient: Mark R. Warner, Governor of Virginia, Chairman, National Governors Association
Make September Pain Awareness Month, in every state. To show that prolonged pain destroys the quality of life. It can erode the will to live, at times driving people to suicide. To show the physical effects are equally profound. We can then request the rest of the world to do as we, and bring awareness to every country.
Make September Pain Awareness Month. To make the public in each state aware of the effects pain has on the society as a whole. And to make the following known:
 1. Pain is one of our nation's most serious health problems. An estimated 50 million Americans live with chronic pain caused by various diseases or disorders and each year nearly 25 million Americans suffer with acute pain.
2. Medical knowledge and tecnology exist to relieve or greatly ease pain, but most pain goes untreated, UNDER TREATED, or improperly treated; and the majority of healthcare professionals are still unaware of how to treat pain effectively. Most people with pain, including those at the end of their life, get little relief or no relief.
3. People who suffer from chronic pain are too often stigmatized and marginalized and often not informed about their right to effective pain assessment and management.
4. The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) has over 500 support groups available in over nine countries.
5. ACPA through Pain Awareness Month, will create public awareness and facilitate cooperative efforts among verious organizations with an interest in the many aspects of pain and address the many obstacles and issues that living with chronic pain create.
6. These organizations seek to increase awareness surrounding the under treatment of pain; and on the state level a council will be set up with multidisciplinary group of health care professionals, consumers, and other interested persons, who will serve as an advocate for people experiencing chronic, acute and cancer pain.
7. To make the "Pain Care Bill of Rights" be not just a pirce of paper but one that is endorsed by each state.
**"The Pain Care Bill of Rights"**
As a Person with Pain, You Have:
*The right to have your report of pain taken seriously and to be treated with dignity and respect by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
*The right to have your pain thoroughly assessed and promptly treated.
*The right to be informed by your doctor about what may be causing your pain, possible treatments, and the benefits, risks and costs of each.
*The right to participate actively in decisions about how to manage your pain. *The right to have your pain reassessed regularly and your treatment adjusted if your pain has not been eased.
*The right to be referred to a pain specialist if your pain persists.
*The right to get clear and prompt answers to your questions, take time to make decisions, and refuse a particular type of treatment if you choose.
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