Utah Injury Lawyer – Patient Controlled Analgesia Pumps
Salt Lake City, Tooele and Price, Utah
Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps are given to patients following surgery in order to self-administer pain medication using a computerized pump. The device dispenses pain medication intravenously and most commonly uses synthetic opiate drugs such as morphine and Demerol.
The purpose of patient controlled analgesia pumps is improved pain control. The device enables the patient to receive an immediate dosage of pain medication without having to wait for a nurse to administer it. The computerized pump releases a controlled amount of medication whenever the patient presses a hand-held button.
Problems Associated with PCA Pumps
The use of PCA pumps, while increasingly popular due to their ability to provide patients with greater control over the disbursement of their pain medication, presents several problems which can lead to harmful medical consequences.
In order for PCA pumps to work properly, the patient must fully understand how the system works and have the strength to push the button. As a result, it is not a good option for patients who are confused, unresponsive, paralyzed, or suffer from a neurologic disease. Patients with poor lung and kidney function are also at increased risk of harmful side effects since they will likely need more careful monitoring than the average PCA pump patient.
It is also crucial for the doctors and nurses prescribing PCA treatment to know how to calculate the proper dosage of pain medication and be able to fix the machine in case of malfunction. If not, the patient may overdose on pain medication, leading to severe permanent injuries or possibly wrongful death.
Medical Malpractice and PCA Pumps
The majority of medical malpractice cases involving PCA pumps are caused by a doctor’s inexperience using the device or by nursing errors. PCA injuries are also frequently caused by negligent patient monitoring by health care professionals. Overdoses are especially common at night when nurses are often less diligent about the monitoring of their patients.
When a patient exhibits an adverse reaction to the use of a PCA pump, it is the doctor?s responsibility to adjust the treatment regimen in order to prevent a harmful overdose. Failure to do so may be considered negligent care.
Experienced Medical Malpractice Representation
The Salt Lake City personal injury firm of G. Eric Nielson & Associates focuses entirely on medical malpractice claims. We have chosen to dedicate our entire practice to this specialized area of law in order to provide you with the best legal representation possible. Our lawyers have the experience needed to anticipate the complexities that arise in this type of litigation, and we have the knowledge needed to properly evaluate medical records in order to conclusively prove negligence in your claim.
If you have suffered an injury from the use of a PCA pain pump, please contact our Salt Lake City medical malpractice lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. G. Eric Nielson & Associates serves clients in the Salt Lake City, Price, and Tooele, Utah area.