A pain pump is a method of delivering pain medication directly to the patient’s spinal cord in small amounts over longer periods of time. Also known as “intrathecal drug delivery”, pain pumps involve the implanting of a small pump placed beneath the skin at the patient’s abdomen. The pump then delivers the pain medication through a catheter to an area directly near the spinal cord. This is similar to the way that pain medication is administered through an epidural to a woman during childbirth.
Pain pumps are often used for patients with chronic pain due to serious conditions such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cancer/cancer treatment pain
- Back pain
Generally speaking, the patient only needs about 1/300th the amount of pain medications with a pain pump than through oral administration. The pump is about the size of a hockey puck.
Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Pain Pumps?
Pain pumps are installed in the patient’s body through surgical means. As with any surgery, complications such as bleeding or infection. Other side effects of pain pumps have to do with the prescription pain medication being administered. Reactions or side effects can include:
- Respiratory problems
- Muscle spasms
- Depression and anxiety
- Reactions with the heart or other bodily systems
Pain pumps can often be left in the patient’s body for years; health reactions can occur in later years as well as soon after installation.
Are There Any Legal Issues Associated with Pain Pumps?
Injuries from pain pumps can often involve legal issues such as medical malpractice and defective product issues.
In many cases, pain pump injuries can lead to a legal claim resulting in monetary damages awards. Some claims can be filed as class action lawsuits if many people have been affected by the same issue.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Pain Pump Injury?
Pain pump injuries can be serious and may often involve complex legal issues. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need any type of legal advice or assistance with a pain pump claim. Your attorney can provide you with legal research for your case, and can also represent you in court if you need to file a lawsuit.