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Patient Controlled Analgesia

What is patient controlled analgesia?
Patient controlled analgesia is a method of pain management that allows you to administer your own pain relief.

Are there different types of patient controlled analgesia?
There are two different types of patient controlled analgesia.

  • Intravenous Patient-Control Analgesia (IV PCA) - With the Intravenous Patient-Control Analgesia (IV PCA) pump, the patient has greater control over their pain. While the pump can be programmed to provide a certain level of continual pain relief, it can also allow a patient to increase pain medicine, within pre-set limits, by pushing a button. Many people find that they need less total medicine with a pump because they can control doses as needed.
  • Subcutaneous Patient-Controlled Analgesia - The Subcutaneous Patient-Controlled Analgesia device allows the patient to administer their own pain medicine while they're in the hospital and even while they're at home. A small pump delivers a measured dose of pain medicine when a button is pushed. The medicine then enters the body through a catheter implanted under the skin. This pump also can be programmed to provide doses automatically.
  • Walking Epidural - The walking epidural provides pain relief for early labor and for periods following surgical procedures. Medications delivered through a catheter are quite effective but do not numb or weaken the legs or lower abdomen. This epidural is an analgesic rather than an anesthetic because its purpose is to reduce pain, not eliminate all sensation.
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