Doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors regularly use pain scales to determine how much a patient is suffering, and then change treatment plans to manage the symptoms most effectively. A few of these lists are specifically aimed at young children and other people who are unable to fully articulate their levels of discomfort. The Face, Legs, Activity, Cry and Consolability (FLACC) Scale is used when even the iconic face based pain scale is too advanced for the patient. For each segment of this comfort scale, the clinician gives the patient a score of zero, one or two. The sum of each section is the patient’s score, from zero at painless to 10 at unbearable.
The FLACC scale is concrete and observant, requiring no interaction with a young or otherwise alert patient. Each of the five categories has three easy-to-characterize rankings to lump the patient. All categories are specific to the particular part of the patient’s condition to be measured.
In the Face category of the FLACC scale, the physician gives the patient a zero if he or she smiles or shows no load. One is given for irregular frowning or detached behavior, and a tree is given if the jaw is knotted or the chin is quivering. Similarly for the Legs, zero is for a relaxed posture, one is for tense or restlessness, and two are on the legs constantly kicking or finite to the chest.
The rest of the categories follow along the same path. For activity, the FLACC Scale goes from a quiet demeanor to stiffness. The Cry part goes from sleeping or no crying constantly wailing. Finally, Consolability component refers to how much the patient’s pain is relieved by parental comfort, from easily relieved to completely inconsolable.
If children are verbal and have mastered expressing basic emotions such as sadness, joy and discomfort, a clinician is apt to ashew the FLACC scale in favor of the Wong-Baker Faces pain chart found in the examination room worldwide. This figure, which does not even require a common language between doctor and patient, prices pain with six faces, presented in order from happy to crying. Below the faces is a number scale from “no harm” of zero to “hurt worst” 10.
Aside from FLACC, faces and numeric scales, the National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium considers a few other tests to be helpful in determining pain levels of patients. A crying test is especially useful. This test rates the “Cry” patient’s “extra oxygen” requirements, whether vital signs have “Increased,” the “Expression” on the patient’s face, and how “Sleepless” the patient has been.