Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Institute


Mankoski Pain Scale


Andrea Mankoski devised this pain scale to help describe the subjective experience of pain in more concrete terms to her doctors and family. Please feel free to use it and distribute it with attribution.


0 - Pain Free

1 - Very minor annoyance - occasional minor twinges. No medication needed.

2 - Minor Annoyance - occasional strong twinges. No medication needed.

3 - Annoying enough to be distracting. Mild painkillers take care of it. (Aspirin, Ibuprofen.)

4 - Can be ignored if you are really involved in your work, but still distracting. Mild painkillers remove pain for 3-4 hours.

5 - Can't be ignored for more than 30 minutes. Mild painkillers ameliorate pain for 3-4 hours.

6 - Can't be ignored for any length of time, but you can still go to work and participate in social activities. Stronger painkillers (Codeine, narcotics) reduce pain for 3-4 hours.

7 - Makes it difficult to concentrate, interferes with sleep. You can still function with effort. Stronger painkillers are only partially effective.

8 - Physical activity severely limited. You can read and converse with effort. Nausea and dizziness set in as factors of pain.

9 - Unable to speak. Crying out or moaning uncontrollably - near delirium.

10 - Unconscious. Pain makes you pass out.

Copyright © 1995, 1996 , All Rights Reserved. Right to copy with attribution freely granted. The information contained herein written and copyright by andi@basilisk-49.Eng.Sun.COM (Andrea Mankoski)



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