Introducing ropivacaine into a department's epidural analgesic practice. Improving acute pain service practice
The results of introducing a new licensed local anaesthetic drug, ropivacaine, into routine practice were evaluated by measuring the efficacy and adverse effects of patient controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA), using ropivacaine 2mg/ml (R), or the mixtures in current use: fentanyl 5 (μg/ml with bupivacaine 1mg/ml (BF5) and fentanyl 10 (μg/ml) with bupivacaine 1mg/ml (BF10). All patients were nursed on general wards after surgery. For two months, 102 consecutive patients were studied. Pain scores at rest were significantly better in the fentanyl and bupivacaine groups, (mean rank R: 35.5, BF5: 22.7, BF10: 26.9, P<0.05). There was a significant correlation between patient controlled boluses and pain at rest and (p < 0.001), and pain on moving (p < 0.001). Nausea and vomiting was worse in the BF10 (p < 0.05). Older patients demanded less analgesia (p < 0.001). Postoperatively BF5 provided better pain relief with trends demonstrating fewer side-effects and complications than BF10 or R. We now use fentanyl 5 (μg/ml and bupivacaine 1mg/ml as our standard epidural infusion mixture.
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