Sunday, April 20, 2008

Managing Pain Through Intravenous Patient-Controlled Analgesia

Few minutes after my surgery, I was in my semi-private room with my husband and nurse beside me. My doctor was talking to me but I cannot hardly remember what she was teling me about since I was still under anesthesia and pain reliever. It was after a few hours when I wake that my husband told me that my apendix and left ovary was removed and realized that I had a big cut from my stomach going down my lower abdomen. I felt some sadness but have to be strong about this. Be thankful that I was able to open my eyes and start another life. However, starting a new life after the surgery wasn'r easy at all.

Mount Sinai Hospital use Morphin to manage or assist the treatment of the pain within Intravenous Patient Controlled Analgesi (IVPCA). It is a pain medication delivery system enabling the patient to manage the pain. IVPCA allows the patient to press a deleivery button on a PCA (Patient Controlled Analgesia) pump, which then deleivers a small dose of pain medication through the veins into your blodstream.

This assestment includes looking at past pain medication use and any drug allergies. Orders are then written based on the information and PCA pump is then programmed accordingly.

Patients are encourage to press the delivery button any time they have pain. PCA pump is designed so that patient receives only a small dose of pain medication each time they press the button. Even if the patient press the button several times over the nest minutes, thepump will not give any more medication until a set time limit has expired (usually 5 to 7 minutes). This is to help protect patients to accidentally giving themselves too much medication. Patients are always welcome to ask the nurse.

It is important to discuss with your nurse about the side effects of the pain medication used on the PCA pump as this can have different effects for each patient. I had experience the usual side effects such as;
* Nausea and vomiting
* Itching
* Fatigue and dizziness
* Constipation

IVPCA pumps have been used for many years to treat moderate to severe pain. The pumps have built-in safety features to help prevent overdose. And the nurse is always there to monitor you.

Since I have some difficulty with the side effects of the pain medication from IVPCA, I only used it for 2 days after my surgery and started the oral pain medication. This helps me feel better since I have less feeling of nausea and dizziness which allow to walk and drink more fluid.

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