What is patient-controlled epidural analgesia (pcea)?

What is patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA)?

Patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) is a safe way for people to manage their pain after surgery or during childbirth. It uses a pump to give numbing medicine. The pump is attached to a catheter placed near your spine. This may have been placed before the surgery. When you start to feel pain, you press a button. This releases medicine from the pump into your spine.

When is patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) used?

PCEA is most often used in the hospital while you recover from surgery. But it may also be used to help manage pain during labor and delivery.

What are the side effects of patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) for pain?

Major problems from PCEA aren't common. But some side effects can occur. These may include a headache, nausea, or soreness at the catheter site. Some people also feel itchy. Your heart or breathing can also be affected by the medicine.

Be sure to let your doctor or nurse know if your pain is not controlled well or if you feel weak.

How is patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) done?

Your doctor or nurse will set the PCEA pump to release the right dose of medicine. They will also make sure that you won't be able to give yourself too much.

To use the pump:

  • When you feel pain starting, you press a button that you can hold in your hand.
  • After you press the button, pain medicine is released from the pump.
  • The pain medicine flows from the pump into the tubing that goes into your spine.

The pump may also be set up to give you a small but steady flow of medicine. If you need more pain medicine than the pump allows, talk with your doctor or nurse.

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