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Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety: The Path to a Safer PCA Pump - Improving Patient Safety with Integrated Capnography
Date:6/28/2012

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 28, 2012

According to Timothy L.V. Wong, a patient safety advocate with A Promise to Amanda Foundation, a non-profit working to ensure “Monitor ALL PCA patients using Capnography - It Saves Lives”, patient controlled analgesia (PCA) is the most common and effective form of pain treatment because it offers consistent and continuous pain relief. However, faults in current PCA technology are putting patients at risk everyday.

Before the 1960’s, personal pain control consisted of large doses of medication. These were administered bedside by nurses on a regular, but not frequent schedule or on demand if one felt pain. Dr. Benson B. Roe was the first to discover that smaller and more regular doses treated pain more effectively.

In the late 1960’s, Dr. Phillip H. Sechzer began to develop machines that could take the place of bedside nurses to provide pain relief through an IV anytime a patient experienced pain. This new technology was called Patient Controlled Analgesia or PCA. In 1976, the first PCA pump, Cardiff Palliator, was released and used commercially.

The “Smart” Pump was introduced next – a PCA pump that can be programmed by a healthcare professional. This mechanic limits the dose delivered each time the patient requires it and is meant to reduce the risk of overdose. Yet, there are fatal errors that still occur with “smart” pumps.

The tragic story of Amanda Abbiehl is a powerful example of the dangers of
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