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

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Abstract

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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