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For over 30 years, the International Association for the Study of Pain has defined pain as «an unpleasant sensorial and emotional experience associated to real or potential tissue damage». Today, evident shortcomings still exist in the use of adequate analgesia, especially in the emergency medicine context: pain is the most common symptom amongst the Emergency Department patients (reaching a prevalence of over 60%), however, statistics reported in literature show that only 45% of patients receive analgesic prescriptions on discharge. In recent years, the influence of changes connected to accreditation standards has generated new expectations of healthcare professionals; although this aspect connected to the evolution of public health provides a stimulus to the evolution of the practical aspect of everyday clinical work, we must not forget that doctors take the Hippocratic oath, the ethical obligation to treat suffering and pain, which is especially pertinent to doctors working in Emergency conditions. The quality of the service provided with regard to pain-relief in ED cannot exclude an analysis of the local situation, the definition of roles, the extrinsication of potential with the ultimate aim of providing a service as close as possible to user hopes. Organisational efforts must be directed at reaching excellent quality levels, in which the monitoring of the activities performed takes place through the registration and periodic re-evaluation of the deriving data. Through this observational, prospective study, we intend to evaluate the effective prevalence of the pain symptom in the Emergency Department and the impact of the use of different classes of analgesia, also estimating the latency between the onset of the symptom and triage in order to quantify the efficacy of the analgesia practiced.
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