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BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 08 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i3033
  1. Faisal R Ali, dermatological surgery fellow,
  2. Firas Al-Niaimi, honorary consultant
  1. Dermatological Surgery and Laser Unit, St John’s Institute of Dermatology, St Thomas’ Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK
  1. f.r.ali.01{at}

Nociceptive stimuli applied to wakeful patients form an inextricable part of clinicians’ practice, with a range of painful procedures commonly deployed, ranging from phlebotomy and cannulation to fracture reduction and epilation when removing adhesive dressings. These procedures are, at best, met with apprehension, and, at worst, are intensely painful and may be …

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