Childr Health Information

Patient controlled Analgesia (PCA) pumps

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Topic: Medications

This handout was written to answer questions that you or your parents may have regarding the PCA pump. This handout will review the purpose of the pump, operation of the pump and questions the nurse may ask you while you are on the pump. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information that you do not understand.

The patient controlled analgesia pump is a machine that allows you, the patient, to give yourself pain medication that will help you feel better. You must have an IV to use the pump. The medication will be placed into the IV by the machine. The medicine will help the pain.

The doctor will order the medication and how often and how much of it can be given. You should push the button when you start to feel pain. Do not wait until the pain is very bad. It is important that only you push the button. Although parents may want to help you feel better, only you can feel when the pain is present. If you are too sleepy or unable to push the button, your parents should tell the nurse so another type of pain medicine can be ordered by your doctor. If pushing the button does not make the pain decrease or go away after a short time (30 minutes or so), please tell your nurse. He or she will provide other methods of pain relief if possible. The pump keeps track of the number of minutes between each dose of medicine. It will not give you too many doses, so you do not have to worry.

The nurse will take your vital signs (heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure) and ask you several questions including whether or not the pain medicine is working. The nurse will do this every two to four hours. If you feel pain, feel itchy or do not feel well, please tell the nurse right away. When the pain starts to go away, the doctor may decide to stop the pump. The nurses may give you pain medicine by mouth at that time. Make sure to let them know if this is not working. You may be given pain medicine to take at home. Your doctors and nurses want to help you feel better while you are in the hospital. The PCA pump will help you feel as little pain as possible. If you or your parents have questions, contact your doctors or nurses.

• Push the button when you feel pain.
• Do not wait until the pain is very bad.
• The pump cannot give you too much medicine.
• If you feel sick, tell your nurse.
• If you feel itchy, tell your nurse.


Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1995, 1996, 1999

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1995, 1996, 1999


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