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Tuesday 2:45 CST, July 7, 2015

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Sentinel Event Alert, Issue 33: Patient controlled analgesia by proxy

December 20, 2004

sea 35 med recPatient controlled analgesia (PCA) is an effective and efficient method of controlling pain, and when it is used as prescribed and intended, the risk of oversedation is significantly reduced. However, serious adverse events can result when family members, caregivers or clinicians who are not authorized become involved in administering the analgesia for the patient "by proxy."  [This Alert does not address situations in which others are authorized to administer analgesia.]