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Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is any method of allowing a person in pain to administer their own pain relief.
Additional recommended knowledge
The most common form of this is the paracetamol that many keep in their bathroom cabinet. If a complaint, e.g. a headache, does not resolve with a small dose of painkiller then more may be taken up to a maximum dose. This situation has the patient in control, and is in fact the most common patient-controlled analgesia. As pain is a combination of tissue damage and emotional state, being in control means reducing the emotional component of pain.
PCA has passed into medical jargon to mean the electronically controlled infusion pump that delivers a prescribed amount of intravenous or epidural analgesic to the patient when he or she activates a button.
Opioids are the medication most often administered through PCAs.
PCA was introduced by Dr. Philip H. Sechzer in the later 1960s and described in 1971.
Among the benefits of this device are:
Patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA)
Patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) is a related term describing the patient-controlled administration of analgesic medicine in the epidural space, by way of intermittent boluses or infusion pumps. This is most commonly used by terminally ill cancer patients.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Patient-controlled_analgesia". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|