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Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety: Hospitals Need to Address PCA Pump Patient Safety
Date:3/21/2012

CHICAGO, March 21, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- For patient safety, PPAHS encourages continuous electronic monitoring, including the use of both capnography and pulse oximetry, of all patients using patient-controlled analgesia (PCA).

According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), the technology and knowledge exist today to prevent errors associated with use of patient-controlled analgesia. As ISMP Vice President Judy Smetzer says, "The solutions are available. We know how to prevent these errors, while preserving the benefits of this patient-centered technology."

Accordingly, states ISMP President Michael Cohen, "Hospitals need to address the causes of PCA errors now. Appropriate education of patients, family members, and hospital staff is key."

Despite these statements by ISMP and many other patient safety and medical organizations, questions persist about how often PCA errors occur, whether existing medical practices are sufficient, and what can be done about PCA errors.

So, to answer some of these questions, Michael Wong of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety interviewed Tim Ritter (Senior Patient Safety Analyst at the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority) and Matthew Grissinger (Director, Error Reporting Programs at ISMP).

Some key comments from the interview include:

Ritter discussing the number of errors that occur with PCA, "Over the six-year period from June 2004 to May 2010, data collected by Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority revealed that there were approximately 4,500 reports associated with PCA pumps. Moreover, U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Manufacturer and User Device Experience (MAUDE) database demonstrates that PCA-related device even
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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
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