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The practice of medicine often requires procedures that cause pain and anxiety. With the advent of modern anaesthesia these procedures have become commonplace and tolerable. Procedures with the greatest degree of pain are frequently accomplished during a state of general anaesthesia. Many procedures, however, are performed under sedation and analgesia. In contrast to general anaesthesia, sedation and analgesia use short acting medications to alleviate pain and anxiety while leaving patients capable of maintaining their airway and basic physiological functions.
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