October 29, 2004 The Roy L. Schneider Hospital is using new machines donated by the St. Thomas-St. John Sickle Cell Association to help patients control their own pain medication management, Rodney E. Miller Sr., hospital president and CEO, said in a press release.
Six Patient-Controlled Analgesia Pumps, or PCAs, are now in use for patients with severe or chronic pain. The pumps offer these patients participation in their doctor-prescribed pain medication program, he said.
The PCA is set by a Registered Nurse to give a small amount of pain medication using a hand-held button. When the button is pushed by the patient, a small amount of medication is delivered through the intravenous line, or IV, to the patient. Rather than having to wait for a nurse to administer the pain medication, the patient is able to self-administer small doses as needed. Pharmacists supply the pain medications for the PCA in pre-mixed bags or syringes.
"This is a good example of how our hospital pharmacy works with physicians and the nursing staff to deliver medications that benefits our patients," Valerie Mull, director of the hospital pharmacy, said.
Mull noted that this week is National Pharmacy Week. As advocated by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the hospital pharmacy is promoting the safe and effective use of prescription drugs and pharmacists' involvement in the research and compliance with medication management decisions.
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