The introduction of patient-controlled analgesia into an isolated rural hospital

R. W. Watts, I. A. Fletcher, G. K. Kiroff, C. Weber, H. Owen, J. L. Plummer

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This study investigated the feasibility of using patient‐controlled analgesia (PCA) effectively in a small 70 bed isolated rural hospital. The tirst 50 patients to use a Bard PCA 1, in the Port Lincoln Hospital, South Australia, were studied. The patients consumed morphine at a mean rate of 1.24 mg/h and used PCA for a mean of 48 h. Thirty‐eight per cent of patients required treatment for nausea and other complications which is similar to the rate of those in other published series. Visual analogue pain scores showed excellent pain control, generally without evidence of oversedation; however, there was one episode of respiratory depression. Seventy‐eight per cent of patients reported that their pain was relieved most or all of the time. The study demonstrated that a PCA service provided by nursing staff, the GP anaesthetist and rural surgeons is feasible in an isolated rural hospital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-591
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • pain


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