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Knowledge library

The EKL for Management of Postoperative Pain provides a succinct summary of recommendations for treating postoperative pain in patients undergoing the most common surgical procedures. The recommendations were formulated by a team of European experts, based on authoritative sources, published during the last decade. They are presented in electronic format with easy access to the original citations.

Management of postoperative pain is suboptimal worldwide. Over the years many attempts have been made to improve this situation including the publication of guidelines and meta-analysis by national and international professional societies in anaesthesiology and pain management. However, this information is not easily accessible to clinicians treating patients at the bedside. It is our hope that the EKL will allow the information to be more readily available to clinicians everywhere, thus, promoting better treatment of patients undergoing surgery.

The following sources were used in the process of preparing the EKL:

How to use the hyperlinks?

Statements are supported by referencing them to the original citation using a ‘hyperlink’.
Some of the hyperlinks direct readers to the actual citation. For example,
PROSPECT \total knee arthroplasty\Summary recommendations\postoperative.
The hyperlink includes information about the actual path, so that readers are able to trace the citation themselves, in the event that this is necessary.

For some of the citations, we provide the name of the source and link to it but readers will have to locate the actual citation themselves. For example, this ANZCA chapter 11.2.3, p 401 indicates that the reader should look up the Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence, chapter 11.2.3, page 401.

Most chapters include a section of ‘Supplementary reading’. These are recent publications related to the topic or ones the author of the chapter considers as providing further insights about the topic.

Who is the EKL meant for?

The EKL is targeted at staff treating patients undergoing surgery, this includes, but not restricted to, surgical staff (medical and nursing), anaesthetists, Acute Pain Service personnel and physical therapists.

What can you do with the EKL?

By providing clinicians with summarized up to date information, the EKL is meant to assist clinicians in making clinical decisions about which treatment(s) are suitable for a specific patient. It can also assist clinicians planning to carry out local, organizational changes related to management of pain after surgery and who wish to be informed about the current literature.

The EKL was developed within the framework of “PAIN OUT”. PAIN OUT was funded by the European Union to create tools for improving management of postoperative pain ( The names of the PAIN OUT collaborators who compiled the chapters in the EKL are listed in under Contributors. We hope to be able to update the EKL periodically.

We thank the authors of the original sources for their work and allowing us to use this information.

Narinder Rawal MD, PhD, FRCA(Hon)
EKL Editor
Ruth Zaslansky, DSc
EKL Co-editor
Dr. Marcus Komann

The research leading to these results received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under Grant Agreement No. 223590

Version 1, February 2013