Approach to Analgesia

No patient should be required to endure excessive pain.

If the patient is awake and alert consider in step-wise fashion the following:

    • Regular paracetamol

    • Codeine preparations (with or without paracetamol)

    • Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs unless contra-indicated, (ie: bleeding diathesis, gastric ulcer / erosion, renal dysfunction).

    • Patient controlled analgesia (PCA): if possible bolus dose only.

    • Where the patient is unable to co-ordinate the PCA mechanism, bolus analgesia should be administered by the nursing staff, titrated to the patients request for pain relief.

    • In exceptional circumstances an infusion of narcotic may be appropriate (as outlined below).


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Page last reviewed: 14 May 2014