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Kate Lawler, BSc (Hons) Nursing, RN, DipN.Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pain Management, James Cook University Hospital, MiddlesbroughFreedom from pain should be a basic human right, yet lack of knowledge can limit our ability to achieve this for patients (Liebeskind and Melzack, 1987). A knowledge of the basic principles of analgesia, appropriate drugs and routes of administration enable ward teams to practise effectively in this respect.

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