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    Chief Complaint


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    Patent Pending

    Nonverbal Pain Scale (NVPS) for Nonverbal Patients

    Quantifies pain in patients unable to speak (due to intubation, dementia, etc).


    One can also use the Behavioral Pain Scale (BPS) for Intubated Patients as an alternative to the NVPS.
    When to Use
    Why Use

    Patients in critical care settings for whom pain assessment is ongoing.

    • The Nonverbal Pain Scale (NVPS) allows for standardized pain assessment in intubated and other nonverbal patients.
    • Parameters include ventilator synchrony, which is helpful in intubated patients.

    Nonverbal patients express pain variably, making a standardized, accurate tool helpful in the evaluation of pain. Pain can be a cause of abnormal vital signs in the ICU setting, and using a quantitative tool can help confirm or refute this hypothesis.


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    Creator Insights


    Pain can and should be treated, especially in intubated patients or those who are otherwise unable to express their sensorium.


    Addition of selected points.

    Facts & Figures

    Score interpretation:

    • Scores ≤2 indicate no pain.
    • Scores 3-6 indicate moderate pain.*
    • Scores ≥6 indicate severe pain.*

    *Note: Scores ≥3 indicate possible need for analgesia.

    This assessment is normally documented every 4 hours on nursing flow sheets and completed before and after interventions.

    Sepsis, hypovolemia, and hypoxia need to be resolved prior to interventions.

    Ms. Margaret Odhner

    About the Creator

    Margaret Odhner, RN, BSN, CCRN, is an adult nurse practitioner at the University of Rochester.

    To view Ms. Margaret Odhner's publications, visit PubMed

    About the Creator
    Ms. Margaret Odhner