Historically, post-surgical pain has been primarily treated with narcotics which can cause patients unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation and grogginess. The data also suggests that taking them may pose the risk of dependence and addiction. Narcotics can also contribute to longer hospital stays, unnecessary readmissions and increased potential for adverse drug events.
An alternative to narcotics for post-surgical pain management now comes in the form of the ON-Q Pain Relief System.
As pain management continued to advance, so did the design of the pump. In the past, local anesthetic use for postoperative pain control was essentially limited to a single shot of local anesthetic. I-Flow worked with highly skilled physician consultants who incorporated the infusion pump into postoperative pain management treatment, to demonstrate the feasibility of pain management through infusion of local anesthetics at low flow rates utilizing the 100 ml pump with a 2 ml/hr fixed flow rate. In addition, I-Flow was able to define a pain management system that included a 100 ml elastomeric pump, an epidural catheter, an introducer needle and an occlusive dressing.
As medical science has advanced, the ON-Q Pain Relief system has continued to evolve. No longer just a fixed flow rate elastomeric pump, ON-Q accommodates patients’ unique needs for adaptable acute pain management. I-Flow’s device advances include a variable flow rate controller, patient-controlled bolus device, soaker catheters, larger volume pumps and pain management at multiple sites.
A Duke University Medical Center study of nerve blocks published in Anesthesia Analgesia, “Interscalene Brachial Plexus Block with a Continuous Catheter Insertion System and a Disposable Infusion Pump” for regional anesthesia documented how to achieve customized pain control by titrating medication for the expanding application of peripheral nerve blocks. I-Flow recognized the potential value for customized pain control and developed the ON-Q Pump with Select-A-Flow Variable Rate Controller. The Select-A-Flow device is a flow controller that allows the user to adjust the infusion rate by turning the rate-changing key on the device. The flow rate is within a predetermined range and is designated on each device.
The Select-A-Flow device is available in two flow ranges and medication dosing is based on the maximum flow rate per device (7 or 14 ml/hr).
The sensation of pain is dynamic and patients may require additional treatment to overcome pain spikes. Recognizing this need, I-Flow developed the ON-Q Pump with ONDEMAND, which incorporates a bolus device. The patient-controlled ON-Q Pump with ONDEMAND, delivers 5 ml of medication when activated as well as the basal flow rate. This bolus of medication helps our patient customers manage breakthrough pain.
The ON-Q Pumps with the combination of both ONDEMAND and Select-A-Flow provide a superior level of medication control previously not available in a mechanical pump system which uniquely addresses the needs of the regional anesthesia market. In addition, the introduction of the Select-A-Flow and ONDEMAND requires greater local anesthetic volumes than with the fixed flow rate controller. This need led I-Flow to develop a higher-volume pump capacity including a 600ml (750ml max) reservoir.
In the past, catheters developed for pain management only distributed medication at the distal tip. This style of catheter was not sufficient to distribute medication along a large incision and doctors reportedly would modify the epidural catheter by poking additional holes to dispense medicine. Realizing the need for a catheter that would distribute medication across a larger area, I-Flow developed the ON-Q Soaker Catheter. The Soaker Catheter is designed to infuse local anesthetic over a wider area than point-source catheters. Available in 1, 2.5, 5 and 10 inch infusion lengths, the catheter is ideal for postoperative pain relief for a variety of incisions. The Soaker Catheter’s distribution of medication over a larger area allows physicians to use the infusion device over a broad range of procedures for effective pain relief. The ON-Q SilverSoaker Catheter is the same catheter but comes with an antimicrobial coating.
I-Flow developed the ON-Q Tunneling System which provides flexibility to enhance catheter placements for optimal outcomes and is ergonomically designed with a customized grip for ease of manipulation. The blunt tip allows for deeper blind access while minimizing risk of needle-stick injury.
Postoperative pain management is a critical element of recovery. I-Flow prides itself on forward thinking to meet the patient and industry’s need to manage acute pain now and into the future.