Rescue doses are a specific amount of opioid delivered by a health-care provider that is generally in excess of the patient's demand dose given when the level of analgesia from the PCA is inadequate. Patients may require a rescue dose for a variety of reasons. There may be brief periods of increased nociceptive input beyond the ability of the demand dose to be effective (e.g., dressing changes). If patients forget to or cannot use the PCA for a period of time (e.g., long period of sleep) they may "get behind" on their analgesia and require an extra or larger amount of opioid to "catch up."
Was this article helpful?