Rectus sheath catheter infusions for post-operative pain management
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Rectus sheath catheter infusions for post-operative pain management

Mandy Layzell Lead nurse, acute pain service, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust, Bournemouth

Managing pain following major abdominal surgery remains a challenge. Traditionally, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) or epidural analgesia have been used, which have improved post-operative pain and the patient experience, but have presented some problems in recovery. PCA can cause adverse effects, including sedation, nausea, vomiting, and prolonged gastric ileus. While epidurals do have some advantages over PCA, there are risks involved related to catheter insertion and adverse effects, such as hypotension and motor blocks which limit mobility. This article examines rectus sheath catheter infusions, a relatively new and alternative technique to epidural analgesia, and presents some early audit data related to pain scores, analgesic use and mobility.

Nursing Standard. 28, 42,37-43. doi: 10.7748/ns.28.42.37.e8617

Received: 02 December 2013

Accepted: 06 February 2014

Published in print: 18 June 2014

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review