A morphine infusion is pain relieving medicine your child receives continuously through a pump. Children usually have it after an operation but can sometimes have it to manage pain that results from a medical condition.
Key points to remember about morphine infusions
- a morphine infusion will help manage your child's pain
- the nurse will check regularly to make sure your child is safe and comfortable
What is a morphine infusion?
A morphine infusion is pain-relieving medicine given into a vein continuously through a pump. Children usually have it after an operation but can sometimes have it to manage pain that results from a medical condition or injury.
In some hospitals, the nurse can give extra doses of morphine through the pump as needed. This is called nurse controlled analgesia (NCA). Analgesia means pain relief.
How does a morphine infusion work?
For pain relief after surgery, your child will have the morphine infusion at the end of the operation when they are in the theatre recovery room. A nurse will connect the morphine infusion pump to your child's intravenous line (IV line). If your child is not comfortable despite the morphine infusion, the nurse can give your child extra doses of the morphine through the pump.
How safe is a morphine infusion?
A morphine infusion is very safe. The morphine infusion pump is computerised and programmed by the doctors and nurses before they attached it to your child's IV line. This means the pump won't give your child too much medicine.
Who will make sure the morphine infusion is working?
The nurse will regularly check your child's breathing, heart rate and oxygen levels. They will also check your child's pain every hour to make sure your child is safe and comfortable. If there are any problems, they will contact the specialist nurse or doctor.
Will there be any side effects from the morphine infusion?
Sometimes the morphine can make your child feel sick, itchy or sleepy. If this happens, a doctor or nurse may give your child medicine to stop these side effects from happening. Your child can have medicine as pills or syrup that they can swallow, or medicine through the IV line. Occasionally the specialist nurse or doctor will change the morphine to another morphine-like drug (fentanyl or oxycodone), if the side effects continue to be a problem.
Can my child become addicted to morphine after having a morphine infusion?
When morphine is used for a short time for pain control, your child will not become addicted.
This page last reviewed 07 June 2018.
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