AFRL Research Helps Relieve Pain for Wounded Forces

AFRL Research Helps Relieve Pain for Wounded Forces

AFRL Research Helps Relieve Pain for Wounded Forces

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Wounded Airmen and soldiers being airlifted from the Iraqi battlefield have not previously had an effective pain control system available to them during transport. To address this critical need, AFRL scientists completed electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) research that subsequently qualified the commercial off-the-shelf Sorensen patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) infusion pump for the Air Force and Army medical communities to use during military operations.

The patient operates the PCA pump using a bolus switch to request pain medication. The pump monitors the dosage intervals and controls the dosage amount, enabling the patient to safely self-administer pain medication. The pump can also be programmed to slowly provide medication over a defined period of time, while continuing to respond to patient desires. AFRL's EMC research enabled the commercially available PCA pumps to be immediately fielded, providing wounded Airmen and soldiers with needed pain relief during military combat operations.