Re: PCA machine......for Kate Murphy

From: Norma (
Sun Feb 11 04:30:42 2001

At Thu, 1 Feb 2001, Kate Murphy wrote: >
>On 31 Jan 2001, at 14:17, Helen Dynda wrote:
>Kate I have been reading the message board and I am writing to you on behalf of my son who has suffered from adhesions for 8 yrs now it used to be once a year he had severe pains and vomiting also bowel problems and he would be admitted for 4 days or so but for the last 4 months it is happening every other day. He had a major op when he was 6 for a cyst and was fine for the 5 yrs after. I was interested in the PCA machine you spoke of. We are in Scotland is it available here? I am sorry to hear of your prolems too how are you nowI am using my son's email address as I do not have one.
>> Kate, I find your messages filled with so much medical information; and
>> I have learned alot from the messages, which you have posted. Do you
>> have a medical background?
>> I would like to know what a PCA machine is and how it is used?
>Although I worked in a community health center, I have no formal
>medical training. I just had to figure out medical issues so that I
>could do my work of developing new facilities and programs for the
>health center. I did a lot of writing and planning and was around
>medical issues all the time.
>However, most of my medical information comes from my own
>experience and participation for several years now on the colon
>cancer and ovarian cancer lists. I read a lot about medical issues,
>hoping to find solutions or at least understand my problems.
>I am a founding member of the Colon Cancer Alliance and have
>learned oodles of things through CCA and participation in various
>medical conferences as a patient advocate.
>I am an eighteen year survivor of colon cancer and had a
>recurrence 8 years ago. I also have had ovarian cancer and breast
>cancer. I've had abdominal surgery 3 times for cancer and 4 times
>for adhesions. I've had scans and x-rays of all types to diagnosis
>the cancer or to find out if it was back. This summer I had a full
>blown bowel obstruction that taught me stuff I never wanted to
>know about inserting NG tubes, infections, and major pain!
>I am retired from the Health Center on disability, but am working on
>a book about cancer recovery.
>The PCA machine is a intravenous pump that is programmed to
>deliver a very small dose of painkiller (usually morphine or demerol)
>when the patient pushes a button. PCA stands for Patient
>Controlled Analgesia. The amount of drug and frequency is
>controlled so you cannot overdose.
>Much, much better than nurse administered shots of pain relief --
>you can have steady pain drugs rather than a big dose every 4
>hours that disappears before the pain returns.
>Some of my friends have also had an epidural to control pain after
>their surgery. The drug is inserted through a catheter into the back.
>Pain can be managed after surgery -- and it should be.
>Kate Murphy

Norma Blair

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