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Patient-Controlled Analgesia Proves Safe in Children

Patient-Controlled Analgesia Proves Safe in Children

SEATTLE--In a retrospective study of 39 children (aged 4 to 12 years) given patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) for pain associated with bone marrow transplantation (BMT), researchers found that 95% of children successfully mastered PCA to control their pain.

"We observed no instances of drug misuse, parental tampering, accidental overdose, or difficulty weaning from opioids," said Peter J. Dunbar, MB, ChB, and his colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The research team concluded that opioid PCA, with or without continuous infusion, over several days or weeks is safe and effective for preteen children with BMT-related pain (J Pain Symptom Manage 10:604-611, 1995).

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