Continuous Basal Infusion

Continuous infusions are commonly used for PCEA management. Continuous infusions are usually started at 4-6 ml/h with a usual upper limit of 14 ml/h. The height of the patient does not appear to be a determinant of the correct infusion rate. There is some data to suggest that weight is positively correlated and age is negatively correlated with PCEA requirements. However, it is the location of the surgery that appears to have the strongest correlation with PCEA requirements in that thoracoabdominal operations need higher rates than lower extremity surgery when using the same local anesthetic concentrations. This is likely a function of the number of dermatomes that need to be covered.

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