Long-Term Intrathecal Analgesia With a Wireless Analgesia Pump System in the Home Care of Patients With Advanced Cancer

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Intrathecal analgesia is more effective than conservative delivery methods such as drugs administered orally or intravenously. Programmable devices such as Medtronic’s SynchroMed systems have often been applied for long-term intrathecal analgesia. However, the totally implanted systems are very expensive in China. Considering cost-effectiveness, a reliable transmission protocol for a ZigBee-Based wireless analgesia pump system was used for long-term intrathecal analgesia in the home care of patients.


We retrospectively investigated the efficacy, side effects, and complications of long-term intrathecal analgesia in the home care of patients via the wireless analgesia pump system. Follow-up visits occurred monthly for the initial 3 months after implantation and then every 3 months until patient death, withdrawal from the study, or removal of the device by a designated staff. At each follow-up visit, daily average pain score, pain frequency, satisfaction level, Spitzer Quality of Life Index, and side effects for every patient were recorded.


Pain intensity and frequency were significantly decreased by intrathecal analgesia via a wireless analgesia pump system. There were no significant differences in the satisfaction levels between hospitalization and each follow-up visit. The Spitzer Quality of Life Indexes were improved compared with patients who were hospitalized. No serious side effects were observed in this study.


Intrathecal analgesia is an effective and safe method for control of refractory cancer pain, and wireless analgesia pump systems can be safely and effectively used for long-term intrathecal analgesia management in the home care of patients with advanced cancer.

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