Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA): A method for patient self administration of narcotic-analgesia and a low dose of local anesthetic

 

You will critically analyse your chosen protocol, in the form of a 2500 word academic essay. You should focus on

evaluating the relative strengths and weaknesses of the research and evidence described in the protocol, using

the guiding questions (BELOW) as the basis for your appraisal. Please note that you should not just present a

question and answer format – you must write this in an academic essay style so that your analysis based on the

guiding questions flows as an integrated piece of work.
You are expected to justify comments and analysis with reference to literature.
You are trying to determine the strengths and limitations of the protocol, including the evidence which underpins

the protocol and in so doing its relevance to your practice, in the same way that you would review a research or

opinion based article to determine its strengths or limitations in supporting your discussion.

Protocol to be analysed

GUIDELINE: Initiation of Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA) and Assessment of Motor and Sensory

Response in Hip and Knee Surgery Patients Post Combined Spinal Epidural Anesthesia

Department of Nursing
Population/Specialty-Based Clinical Guideline
PTU/PACU
____________________________________________________
PURPOSE
To provide a guideline for the timely initiation of Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA) based on the

assessment of motor function and sensory response in hip and knee surgery patients post combined spinal-epidural

anesthesia.

DEFINITIONS
Combined Spinal-Epidural Anesthesia (CSE): A type of regional anesthesia that combines the benefit of both spinal

and epidural anesthesia. The spinal component gives a rapid onset of a predictable block. The epidural indwelling

catheter component provides access for the administration and titration of anesthesia and analgesia (Mulroy,

2002)
CSE allows for a minimal dose of spinal anesthetic of a short duration and allows of the addition of epidural

reinforcement of anesthesia and /or administration of analgesia (Bali, Sharma & Gupta, 2007)

Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA): A method for patient self administration of narcotic-analgesia and

a low dose of local anesthetic agent through an epidural catheter via a dedicated programmable infusion pump

(Standl et al, 2003; Block et al, 2003).

Sensory Response Level (Dermatome): The dermatome is the area of the skin supplied by the sensory nerve and

approximately corresponds to the myotome (Waxman, online).
It may also be assessed to evaluate the extent of spinal blockade and its resolution (Mulroy, 2002).

Motor Function (Myotome): The muscle and its nerve comprise a myotome. Each muscle in the body is supplied by a

particular level of the spinal cord and its corresponding spinal nerve. The initiation and resolution of the

spinal blockade of anesthesia is determined by evaluating the motor function of the lower extremities (Smet,

Vlaminck & Vercauteren, 2007).

Upon Arrival
1. Positioning Patient;
a. If patient is hypotensive, keep HOB flat.
b. If blood pressure in normotensive range (or other BP parameters defined by anesthesiologist) and other vital

signs are stable, place patient in semi fowlers (HOB @ 30 degrees) unless contraindicated by surgeon or

anesthesiologist.
c. Initiate comfort measures and orient patient to Recovery area.
GUIDLINE: Initiation of Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA) and Assessment of Motor and Sensory Response

in Hip and Knee Surgery Patients Post Combined Spinal Epidural Anesthesia

2. Assess and document patient’s level of consciousness to determine the level of sedation and anesthesia, vital

signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and respirations), oxygen saturation via pulse oximetry, body temperature.

Monitor and document every 15 minutes per protocol.

3. Assess pain level
a. Using the Pain Management Guideline for patients who respond verbally and follow commands.
b. Refer to Pain Assessment Tool for Non-Cognizant Adults.

4. If pain present and no motor movement has occurred, follow physician orders.

5. Access of the epidural catheter and document condition of dressing;
a. Transparent dressing intact, notify anesthesia immediately if not intact.
b. If displaced, bloody, or leakage present, notify physician.

6. Motor Function:
a. Assess and document both lower extremity movements.
b. Motor function is assessed by asking patient to move lower limbs especially the unaffected side, since

movement of the unaffected limb usually occurs sooner than the affected limb.
c. Assess every 15 minutes per xxx until meets xxx discharge criteria.
d. Document dermatome level before transferring patient to the floor.

7. The assessment indicator for the resolution of CSE anesthesia and initiation for PCEA is any movement of

either lower extremity. This is due to the relatively low dose of local anesthetic in the PCEA that is routinely

used in post hip and knee surgery patients. Thus, the low dose of medication is unlikely to cause motor and

sensory blockade and interfere with the resolution of CSEA (Patel, Sadoughi & Zadeh 2010).

8. Sensory Response
a. For assessment of dermatome level, use alcohol prep to assess “cold” and “wet” sensation (Bourne, Campbell,

Mushambi & May, 1997).
b. Assess the non affected area first (for example chest or upper arm) then the affected area.
c. Assess every 15 minutes per xxx until meets xxx discharge criteria.

With the return of any movement of either lower extremity: Prepare to initiate PCEA

1. Two RNs verify medication with physician order
a. Confirm settings on infusion pump are entered correctly per order
b. Co-signatures of RNs are entered on the paper record
c. Label tubing “PCEA”

2. Assess and document vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, and respirations), oxygen saturation via pulse

oximetry, body temperature to ensure hemodynamic stability.

3. Assess and document the integrity of the epidural catheter transparent dressing and report presences of

excessive leakage or displacement at site.

4. If hemodynamically stable, initiate PCEA per physician’s order.
GUIDLINE: Initiation of Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA) and Assessment of Motor and Sensory Response

in Hip and Knee Surgery Patients Post Combined Spinal Epidural Anesthesia

5. Continue to assess and monitor vital signs, pain level, and adverse responses to PCEA every 15 minutes.
a. If hypotension occurs as a result of any pain medication administered,
notify physician and monitor vital signs more frequently.
b. Assess for adverse responses such as respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting, pruritis, local anesthetic

toxicity, urinary retention/incontinence, hallucinations, and dense/high block. If any occur, notify physician.
c. If pain is unrelieved while receiving PCEA, administer prn pain medication orders per xxx orders to initiate

“Clinician Dose” of xxx per order set. The patient’s pain level dictates which medication and dose to administer,

(See Physician order set).
d. If unrelieved pain continues, notify MD for additional orders until acceptable level of pain control has been

achieved.
e. Following initiation of the PCEA, the local anesthetic agent( e.g. Bupivicaine) may adversely spread to the

intrathecal space causing motor weakness or worsening sensory blockade (Bourne, Campbell, Mushambi & May, 1997;

Patel, Sadoughi & Zadeh 2010).

6. Continue to assess and document every 15 minutes
a. Both lower extremity movement and sensory response
b. Pain level
c. Vital signs

7. Continue monitoring and documentation until patient meets criteria for discharge from xxx
a.Hemodynamically stable one hour following initiation of PCEA
b. Resolution of CSEA has occurred as demonstrated by dorsi-flexion of the unaffected foot.


 

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