Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Why Can't He Eat or Drink After Midnight? - March 2016 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 57 of 160

Both electronic and elastomeric pumps now let patients control the rate of local anesthetic infusion to meet their pain requirements dur- ing recovery. Patients or providers can control the flow rate within a certain range to ensure safety. Some electronic pumps even let providers program the devices to automatically adjust the flow rate based on the patient's anticipated needs. While you can instruct patients to up the flow rate to deal with spikes of pain, some pumps now come with a bolus feature that lets a patient press a button to deliver an extra dose of medication if they feel breakthrough pain. Keep in mind, though, that pumps with flow- rate control or bolus features tend to cost more, and researchers are still working to determine the optimal infusion rate and bolus size for patients on a block-by-block basis. Manufacturers are also finding ways to make continuous nerve blocks more efficient and cost-effective. One option is new electronic pain pumps that feature delayed infusion start times. Providers can program the pumps to start delivering the medication closer to the time that the initial regional anesthesia from surgery is about to wear off, which can be up to 24 hours after surgery. This can extend the duration of the pump's analgesia while keeping the overall amount of anesthetic used the same. For post-op recovery, manufacturers are also offering perks like 24/7 hotlines that patients can call with questions, and some are even con- ducting patient follow-up calls to go over post-op instructions. That can save your staff time spent chasing patients and answering phones, though it's still a good idea to ensure your anesthesia provider is avail- able for contact in an emergency. Pain pumps collect a ton of information on the patient, and now companies are finding ways to harness and use that info. For exam- ple, at least one manufacturer's electronic pump collects information 5 8 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • M A R C H 2 0 1 6

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