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Wellness Café – Treating Acute and Chronic Pain Experienced by Children: Sharing Evidence and Debunking Myths

Wellness Café – Treating Acute and Chronic Pain Experienced by Children: Sharing Evidence and Debunking Myths

February 15, 2020 @ 8:30 am – 12:45 pm America/Chicago Timezone
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church
7845 N River Rd
River Hills, WI 53217
Orsolya Garrison, DrPH, MPH

You are invited to a presentation on pain management in children followed by a conversation with community members.

Up until a couple of decades ago, it was thought that babies don’t feel pain. But now it’s known that infants and young children do indeed feel pain longer and more sensitively which can affect brain development. Yet, health records of around that time show that children who underwent anesthesia, received very little pain medication. However, thanks to extensive research on the topic in recent years, we now know not only that children experience pain, but also, that it is very different from the way adults experience pain.

The purpose of this particular Wellness Café is to raise awareness of pediatric pain, explain how it is different from adult pain, describe the challenges and make recommendations.

Because children do not always express pain the same way as adults do and are not always able to describe the severity of their discomfort, pain management in the pediatric populations often presents a challenge to parents as well as physicians. Albeit, the challenge of pediatric pain management did not end with the acknowledgment and treatment of pain in pediatric population. Due to the opioid addiction crisis that is currently plaguing the country, medical staff and parents are facing new challenges such as how to treat severe acute and chronic pain in children without adding to the ongoing opioid problem; and how do we know when too much pain medication was administered to a child? In order to answer these questions and more, our panelists, who are experts on pediatric pain management will distinguish between acute and chronic pain management and review methods of pain assessment as well as pain assessment tools developed for children specifically. Furthermore, they will discuss the general principles of pediatric pain management and optimal treatment. The discussion will address other factors associated with pain, such as obesity that may alter children’s pain thresholds. Last, but not least, the behavioral, psychological and cognitive therapies that are useful in reducing stress when experiencing physical trauma or undergoing invasive procedures will also be highlighted. Finally, parents attending this session, will learn what they can do to help their children with pain, so kids can go back to being kids!


8:30 – 9:30 am

Gathering and light breakfast

9:30 – 10:30 am

Presentation by panelists

10:30 – 10:45 am


10:45 – 11:45 am

Discussion with guests

11:45 – 12:45 pm


About the Panel

Amy L. Drendel, DO, MS
Professor and Medical Director
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Amy Drendel is a board-certified pediatrician, and a fellowship trained pediatric emergency medicine specialist. She is a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. She has a special interest in managing injury-related pain, as well as the resuscitation of critically ill and injured children. Dr. Drendel is interested in research to improve the treatment of pain for children after they have been discharged home from the Emergency Department. More specifically, on using pharmacogenomics of analgesic agents to inform safe and effective prescription practices and acute pain management in children. She graduated with a DO from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University, Chicago, IL and completed her residency as Chief Resident at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, IL. She is the recipient of numerous awards, such as the Best Doctors in America and Milwaukee’s Top Doctors in 2013.

Amanda Brandow, DO
Amanda Brandow, DO
Associate Professor
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Amanda Brandow is an assistant professor and a board certified pediatric hematologist/oncologist at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  She has a special interest in providing comprehensive and compassionate care for children with sickle cell disease and other hematologic diseases including anemia, thrombocytopenia and neutropenia.  Dr. Brandow is specifically interested in developing better ways to assess and treat pain in children with sickle cell disease.  She is committed to and enjoys teaching medical students, residents, and fellows. Dr. Brandow’s research is focused on investigating the underlying reasons that children with sickle cell disease experience pain. She is also interested in studying chemotherapy associated pain in children with cancer. Through this research she hopes to develop new pain treatments for both children with sickle cell disease and cancer. Dr. Brandow also studies ways to better assess pain in children with sickle cell disease and cancer and the outcomes of pain treatment in these children.

Keri Hainsworth, PhD
Associate Professor
Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Hainsworth earned a MS and PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Wisconsin. She was an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Physical Therapy at Carroll University for a number of years before joining the MCW faculty in 2006. Her research interests focus on the interrelationships between pain and obesity in children and adolescents. Dr. Hainsworth has shown that youth who experience both chronic pain and obesity have significantly lower quality of life than youth with chronic pain alone or obesity alone; and that youth with co-occurring pain and obesity have altered pain thresholds. In addition, Dr. Hainsworth currently serves as the Research Director of the Jane B. Pettit Pain Management Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. It covers a broad range of areas important to acute and chronic pain management, such as optimal opioid delivery systems, post-surgical pain management, and the study of biopsychosocial factors that impact patients’ lives. The Pain Center is also known for our inclusion of integrative medicine and a biopsychosocial approach to pediatric pain.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


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