Pre-emptive or preventive analgesia – lessons from the human literature?

      The term pre-emptive analgesia is used widely in the veterinary anaesthesia literature. It has positive connotations, and is often ascribed to benefit the patient by reducing post-operative pain. That pre-emptive analgesia is beneficial is not, however, an irrefutable fact, when considering people or animals. It is worth considering the available evidence and questioning the methodology employed in pre-emptive analgesia studies and hence the validity of the results. Should we be taking a preventive rather than pre-emptive approach to analgesia – or are we dealing with semantics?
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