Background Nowadays, the management of postoperative pain is a requirement for quality care but the excessive length of use of continuous infusion pumps can be associated with unnecessary costs.
Purpose To find out how the different drugs are used in postoperative pain and how much money can be saved with an automatic stop order in trauma patients.
Materials and methods This study was performed over a period of 8 months from January to August 2013. All the prescriptions in trauma patients for continuous infusions for postoperative pain were automatically stopped 48 h after their prescription. All the analgesics were diluted in sodium chloride 1000 mL and infused over 24 h. We knew, from an earlier pilot study, that analgesics pumps were usually used for five days.
Results During the period of study, we validated 43 different analgesic bags for 224 patients. The most frequent continuous pumps were: metamizole 6 g plus metoclopramide 30 mg (17.9%); metamizole 6 g plus dexketoprofen 150 mg (12.6%); dexketoprofen 150 mg plus tramadol 150 mg plus metoclopramide 10 mg (9.8%) and dexketoprofen 150 mg (9.4%). Continuous infusion of the analgesia led to a reduction of pain scores for all the patients in the first 48 h postoperatively. The cost of the analgesia for 48 h was 1,388 € but if the analgesic pumps had not been removed by the pharmacy department, the cost would have increased to 3,471 €. So, the total savings were 2,066 €.
Conclusions Pharmaceutical intervention reduced the cost associated with an excessive duration of post-surgical analgesia with continuous pumps for trauma patients.
No conflict of interest.
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