Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesic (PCEA) Device

The Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesic (PCEA) Device is a non-electronic, patient activated disposable pump designed to deliver pain management on demand and offers safety and ease of use as an advantage over electronic pumps.

The PCEA is designed to make 4mL analgesic boluses available to the patient every 15 minutes, hence allowing the patient to deliver a maximum dose of 16mL per hour into their epidural space via an epidural catheter. The PCEA is ideal for labour wards, and post-operative gynaecological and orthopaedic patients. The device is lightweight and may be worn around the neck hence providing excellent mobility. Given that it is non-electronic, the device eliminates the need for pump programming. Human error is reduced and staff training is made easier. The affordability of this PCEA makes this form of pain management available to all patients. 

Product History

In 1996 a need was identified by Dr. George O’Neil from King Edward Hospital for a patient controlled analgesia (PCA) device that would be safe, easy to use, affordable and would permit full patient mobility. At that time, PCA devices available in the market were electronically controlled mechanical systems that were expensive, relatively complicated to operate, prohibited patient mobility, and presented the risk of inadvertent analgesic download due to operator error or control system failure.


  • Patients requiring breakthrough pain relief via an epidural catheter, usually after procedures such as caesarean section, major abdominal and pelvic surgery.


The following conditions would preclude use of the PCEA:

  • Infusion volumes / rates to be printed or stored in memory
  • Adjustable infusion rate settings and profiles required (e.g. if continuous background infusion is required)
  • Infusion volume accuracy greater than 80% required
  • Patients who are assessed as being at risk of illicit drug seeking behaviour and may tamper with the PCEA
  • Patients who are unable to self-administer analgesia
  • Patients who are unable to understand the intended use or instructions for the device
  • Audio and visual alarm system required to alert clinicians of device status (e.g. low reservoir volume / occluded line / loss of system pressure)
  • Printed or stored record of infusion volumes required

Device Variants

Product CodeDevice NameSupplied as
PCI EP RE15 Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA) Sterile, individual units

 Reference Material

The following papers report on the safely and clinical effectiveness of the Go Medical PCEA device.

  1. Banks S, Pavy T. A portable, disposable device for patient-controlled epidural analgesia following Caesarean section: evaluation by patients and nurses. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2001 [cited 2001 Nov];41(4):372-5.
  2. Fok KK & Kwan, AK. A Randomized Comparison of Two Mobile Patient Controlled Analgesia Devices After Cesarean. Bull HK Coll Anaesthesiol 2007; 16:9-14.
  3. Ngan Kee WD, Ma ML, Gin T. Patient-controlled epidural analgesia after caesarean section using a disposable device. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 1997 [cited 1997 Aug];37(3):304-7.