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Jefferson-led study shows transdermal system as effective as IV pump for post-surgical pain

A needle-free, self-contained fentanyl patient-controlled transdermal system (PCTS) is as effective for post-surgical pain management as the traditional intravenous pump (IV), while giving patients more mobility and freeing nurses to devote more time to patient care. The study led by researchers from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, appears in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The multi-center study conducted at more than 30 sites nationwide demonstrated that a button-activated, fentanyl system that delivers pain medication through the skin could eliminate the need for IVs for post-surgical pain relief. The study was led by Eugene Viscusi, M.D., director of the Acute Pain Management Service at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia. The fetanyl transdermal system would also offer the advantage of a needle-free, pre-programmed medication system in a small, self-contained unit.

"This is a miracle of miniaturization," said Dr. Viscusi, assistant professor of Anesthesiology, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

The system, known as E-TRANS fentanyl PCTS, is approximately the size of a credit card, self adherent to the skin, pre-programmed and needle free. It delivers pain medication across the skin with a low level electric current when activated by the patient with a small button on the surface of the device.

The fentanyl transdermal system could be used for patients with moderate to severe post-operative pain after most surgeries including joint replacement, prostate surgery or gynecological procedures, the Jefferson anesthesiologist said. "Anyone who has ever had surgery remembers the discomfort of having IVs and needles," Dr. Viscusi said. "This patch system has a huge potential advantage."

The PCTS, placed on an inpatient's upper arm or chest by adhesive on the back of the patch, transmits the pain medicati
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Contact: Jeffrey Baxt
jeffrey.baxt@jefferson.edu
215-955-5507
Thomas Jefferson University
16-Mar-2004


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