Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) has been shown to provide safe and effective analgesia for children aged as young as 5-6 years (ANZCA 2020). PCA is used in the relief of acute pain in both post-operative pain and non-surgical pain such as sickle cell crisis. Paediatric patients benefit from PCA as it removes the need for painful injections and improves the child’s sense of control. Patient selection is important and depends on the ability of the child and carers to understand the concepts of PCA (ANZCA 2020).

PCA is a method of pain relief that allows the patient to self-administer small pre-set doses of analgesia as required from a locked programmable pump. Paediatric patients receiving PCA are to be solely nursed on the St Peters site within the following areas: Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for adolescence between 16-18 years or weighing above 50kg, Recovery Unit and Ash Ward (HDU). It is compulsory that nursing staff working in these areas receive training, are competent to care for paediatric patients with PCA and have completed the Trust competency framework.


Policy Details

Download: N/A
Compiled by: Monica Thompson Lead Nurse Inpatient Pain Service
Patricia Irvine-Smith, Senior Specialist Nurse Inpatient Pain Service
Ratified by: Theatres and Day Surgery Governance Group GS-ACT
Date Ratified: June 2022
Date Issued: June 2022
Review Date: June 2024
Target Audience: Staff involved in the prescribing, administration and monitoring of Intravenous (IV) Patient Controlled Analgesia in paediatric patients.
Contact name: Monica Thompson, Patricia Irvine-Smith


See also:

  • Paediatric PCA Competency
  • Paediatric PCA Observation Chart
  • Paediatric Prescription Proforma


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