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Patient Controlled Analgesia
Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is a means for the patient to self-administer analgesics (pain medications) intravenously by using a computerized pump, which introduces specific doses into an intravenous line.
The purpose of PCA is improved pain control. The patient receives immediate delivery of pain medication without the need for a nurse to administer it. The patient controls when the medication is given. More importantly, PCA uses more frequent but smaller doses of medication, and thus provides more even levels of medication within the patient's body. Syringe-injected pain management by a nurse requires larger doses of medication given less frequently. Larger doses peak shortly after administration, often causing undesirable side effects such as nausea and difficulty in breathing. Their pain-suppressing effects also often wear off before the next dose is scheduled.
Encyclopedia of Surgery: A Guide for Patients and Caregivers
Type: Reference Material
Author/Contact: Not available
Institution: Encyclopedia of Surgery: A Guide for Patients and Caregivers
Submitted by: admin
Added: Thu Nov 09 2006