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Pathophysiology and assessment of pain 

Pathophysiology and assessment of pain
Pathophysiology and assessment of pain

Rebecca E. Martin

and Ross D. MacPherson

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date: 05 July 2022

From a clinical viewpoint, pain can generally be classified as nociceptive, visceral, or neuropathic. This distinction is important, as it will help guide pain management strategies. In this section the authors discuss the current state of the art with regard to pain mechanisms at a neuronal and neurotransmitter level. Much has been clarified in recent years to help identify neurotransmitters involved in pain pathways, and target new drugs and treatments. The second part of the chapter discusses assessment of pain in the critical care setting. Assessment of pain severity and of response to treatment is clearly a difficult process in the patient who is unable to communicate verbally. This section discusses the various strategies and assessment protocols that have been formulated to try and assist in this difficult task.

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