Plymouth - First in the UK

£250,000 has been awarded to Emergency care doctors and nurses in Plymouth to find out whether patients get more relief if they administer their own pain control.

The aim over the next two and a half years is to compare the experiences of those adult emergency patients using Patient Control Analgesia (PCA) with those being given standard forms of pain relief, to establish which group has better control of their pain, and a better overall hospital experience.

No previous study has looked at the use of PCA for patients in emergency departments through the first few hours of their admission.

Consultant in Emergency Medicine Jason Smith talks about the research

It's estimated that two patients a day will be involved in the research. On an average day, 230 patients per day come into Derriford's emergency department - 400 are needed for the study.

Those that receive PCA will be able to control their pain relief via a press of a button that releases doses of morphine, the machine will only allow one dose every 5 minutes and any top-ups will have to be administered by doctors or nurses.

The trial is being co-ordinated by the UKCRC-accredited Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit.