Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2012 - Volume 34 - Issue 6 > Parent-controlled PCA for Pain Management in Pediatric Oncol...
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology:
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e3182580496
Original Articles

Parent-controlled PCA for Pain Management in Pediatric Oncology: Is it Safe?

Anghelescu, Doralina L. MD*; Faughnan, Lane G. BSN*; Oakes, Linda L. MSN*; Windsor, Kelley B. MSN*; Pei, Deqing MS*; Burgoyne, Laura L. BM BS

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Abstract

Patient-controlled analgesia offers safe and effective pain control for children who can self-administer medication. Some children may not be candidates for patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) unless a proxy can administer doses. The safety of proxy-administered PCA has been studied, but the safety of parent-administered PCA in children with cancer has not been reported. In this study, we compare the rate of complications in PCA by parent proxy versus PCA by clinician (nurse) proxy and self-administered PCA. Our pediatric institution’s quality improvement database was reviewed for adverse events associated with PCA from 2004 through 2010. Each PCA day was categorized according to patient or proxy authorization. Data from 6151 PCA observation days were included; 61.3% of these days were standard PCA, 23.5% were parent-proxy PCA, and 15.2% were clinician-proxy PCA days. The mean duration of PCA use was 12.1 days, and the mean patient age was 12.3 years. The mean patient age was lower in the clinician-proxy (9.4 y) and parent-proxy (5.1 y) groups, respectively. The complication rate was lowest in the parent-proxy group (0.62%). We found that proxy administration of PCA by authorized parents is as safe as clinician administered and standard PCA at our pediatric institution.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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