Pain Management

The Pain Management Service at Monash Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the timely and effective management of procedural, post-operative and persistent pain.

Phone: (03) 8572 3000

 To support the Pain Management department at
Monash Children’s Hospital:

About us

The Pain Management Service at Monash Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the timely and effective management of procedural, post-operative and persistent pain.

Procedural pain

Most children in hospital undergo at least one procedure while an inpatient and it is vital that this is managed well. Monash Children’s Hospital has a Procedural Pain Management program that assists parents and children to cope with procedures and optimise analgesia (pain relief.) Techniques available include the use of ‘magic’ numbing creams, distraction techniques and nitrous (laughing gas). Our expert team is also available to discuss any concerns and develop a tailored approach before any procedures.

Post-operative pain

Post operative pain at Monash Health is managed by the Acute Pain Service. This team reviews all patients on a daily basis following an operation and is also available 24 hours a day for additional consultations. We are familiar with state of the art techniques to manage pain after operations and know the importance of managing pain well as part of the recovery process. We can explain when strong painkillers are required and also implement a range of additional techniques to assist with pain management. Knowledge of previous pain experiences are important to us and will form part of the current management.

Children with additional medical or physical needs such as those with neurological impairment or longstanding pain, often face additional challenges after an operation. Our service is happy to work with these children and their parents to provide an individualised pain management program.

Persistent pain

Complex or persistent (chronic) pain can be a common problem in childhood. This can occur as a result of a pre-existing condition or as a problem on its own – from a recurrent headache to abdominal pain or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in the hands or feet. We recognise the ways in which such pain can impact upon a child’s daily life, including their sleep, school and social life. We also understand the impact of pain on a child’s family.

The unique challenges of persistent pain require a holistic, multidisciplinary approach. In our new Paediatric Persistent Pain Clinic, we are developing a team of professionals who can provide this multidisciplinary service to support children with persistent pain and their families.

We currently use a combination of ‘pain modulator’ medications together with physiotherapy, psychology and ongoing telephone support to achieve positive outcomes that focus on children moving forward with their own goals and re-integrating into everyday life.

Our team 

Dr Simon Cohen is a paediatrician and pain medicine specialist. He qualified in the UK in 1995 and has been a children’s doctor for more than 14 years. As a consultant paediatrician with a wealth of experience in the UK and Australia, he has an understanding of the difficulties and challenges of looking after a child with persistent pain and how this can impact on the family. By combining the latest in pain medicine knowledge and careful use of medications with a broader, holistic approach, he aims to improve the function and quality of life of children with persistent pain.

Dr Cohen recently moved from The Sydney Children’s Hospital to Monash Children’s Hospital to establish a paediatric pain service in anticipation of the opening of the new Monash Children’s Hospital in 2017.

In addition to his experience in pain management, Dr Cohen is also the Chief Medical Officer for Very Special Kids Hospice in Malvern. This outstanding service supports children with life limiting illnesses throughout their life as well as in the terminal phase. He thus has experience in managing palliative care as well as a strong interest in symptom management for children with severe neurological disabilities.

Rebecca Finnegan is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with extensive experience in perioperative nursing and paediatric pain management including procedural, acute and persistent pain. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Nursing and a Post Graduate Diploma in Anaesthetic and Recovery Nursing from Deakin University.

Rebecca joined the Pain Management team in 2013 and since then has taken a special interest in procedural pain management, with a focus on minimising pain and discomfort for children undergoing painful procedures. She has been actively involved in developing policies and procedures, education resources and hospital documentation tools as well as coordinating the Paediatric Persistent Pain Clinic.

As a nurse and a mother of two young children, Rebecca understands what it is like to have a child in hospital and the impact of this upon families. She is passionate about ensuring the Paediatric Pain Management Service provides support, advice and a positive hospital experience for all children who visit Monash Children’s Hospital.

Referrals

Eligibility criteria

Children under 18 years of age

Cost

Nil to patients eligible for Medicare. Patients ineligible for Medicare will be charged a fee for all services provided- payable on the day of service

Site

Level 2, Monash Children’s Hospital, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton 3168

Clinic times

Mondays, 1:30-4pm

Staff

Dr Simon Cohen / Clinical Nurse Consultant Rebecca Finnegan

Referral process

Phone: (03) 8572 3004
Fax: (03) 8572 3007
Email: scmonashchildrens@monashhealth.org

Please fax or email all referral letters to optimise efficient triage

Referrals: Dr Cohen will receive or discuss referrals from any source. Clinic appointments will require an eligible provider number

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