How does patient controlled analgesia work?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) allows a patient to control their own intake of painkillers in the hospital. The health care staff will leave an intravenous catheter in place after surgery, along with a device that allows the patient to press a button for medication. PCA systems have a mechanism to prevent a patient from overdosing.

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