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Healthcare Industry Celebrates 25 Years of Advanced Pain Management With PCA Infusion System

Thursday, October 29, 2009 General News J E 4
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LAKE FOREST, Ill., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today Hospira, Inc. (NYSE: HSP) celebrates the 25th anniversary of its market-leading patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) infusion system. Introduced in 1984, Hospira's PCA was the first pump of its kind, revolutionizing pain management. It was a simple concept: patients know best when they are in pain, so allow them, within limits, to control their medication. Over the past 25 years, PCA technology has improved the safety and quality of care for patients around the world. With more than 53,000 units in use today and 60 percent market share, Hospira's PCA device has evolved into an essential pain management tool for healthcare professionals.

When the original system, PCA Classic, was introduced, it was fairly straightforward – hook up the I.V. bag and give patients control over their pain, allowing them to initiate their pain medication when needed. The device offered a complete, secure, pain-management system behind a locked door and with pre-filled medication vials – a first in the industry.  

PCA Classic was closely followed by a design-enhanced version that offered new modes of delivery; PCA II was introduced in 1988. This system served the pain management sector for nearly 14 years.

In 2001, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations set new national standards, formally recognizing pain as the "fifth vital sign" – in addition to pulse rate, breathing rate, temperature and blood pressure – in assessing how a patient is faring.

Following closely on the heels of the Joint Commission's standards, the third-generation device, LifeCare™ PCA3 was introduced in 2002 with an important new safety feature – integral barcoding technology. This feature enabled the system to read barcodes on individual medication vials (pre-filled or pharmacy-generated), and then identify the drug name and concentration, automatically populating the information into the pump. This novel technology decreased the dangers of inadvertent human error and significantly reduced the risks associated with under-/over-medication dosing, due to wrong concentration.

With a constant focus on best practices and improving interoperability in hospitals, Hospira released the current generation, LifeCare PCA™, in 2006, offering a product fully integrated with Hospira MedNet™ safety software. The innovative compatibility with Hospira MedNet, a customizable software system that defines medication dose limits and tracks I.V. drug delivery, helps to further prevent medication errors and improve patient safety. This enhancement put LifeCare PCA in a class of its own as the first pain management infusion device to offer these advanced safety features.

LifeCare PCA is a perfect example of how Hospira is focused on a core customer need, medication safety, with a comprehensive solution – "smart" infusion pumps, narcotics in pre-filled packaging to prevent misuse and administration sets delivering the medication. All these important parts work together as a system to meet the most pressing needs of hospitals and patients, enhancing safety and streamlining workflow.

"We adopted LifeCare PCA in June 2006 and we prevented 159 potential errors in 2007," says James Stevenson, Pharm.D., F.A.S.H.P., director, Pharmacy Services at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers. Of these, 60 percent of the potential errors prevented were judged to be potentially clinically significant, and wrong drug/wrong concentration errors were eliminated. Furthermore, a survey of nurses showed that they perceived that the LifeCare PCA pumps had improved patient safety, according to Stevenson. "Misidentifying a drug concentration is one of the most serious PCA issues. With LifeCare PCA, 100 percent compliance is ensured because the drug is automatically selected through bar code verification when the pre-filled vial is inserted into the device," added Stevenson.

LifeCare PCA is scalable and upgradeable, allowing hospitals to tailor their level of technology based on their needs. Hospira MedNet offers wireless capabilities, enabling real-time reporting, data gathering and library updates to ensure compliance with hospital best practices.

"For 25 years, Hospira's PCA pump has been an essential tool for healthcare providers to manage pain and to improve the safety of their patients," says Steven Pregulman, M.D., global medical director of device development, Hospira. "The evolution of this device has been very exciting to watch and we look forward to what the next 25 years will bring to the delivery of quality medical care."

To ensure Hospira's PCA technology remains a market leader, the company is investing to provide additional cutting-edge patient safety features, such as capnography monitoring designed to detect early respiratory depression and sophisticated clinical-decision support tools to help improve patient outcomes.

About Hospira

Hospira, Inc. is a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company dedicated to Advancing Wellness™. As the world leader in specialty generic injectable pharmaceuticals, Hospira offers one of the broadest portfolios of generic acute-care and oncology injectables, as well as integrated infusion therapy and medication management solutions. Through its products, Hospira helps improve the safety, cost and productivity of patient care. The company is headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., and has approximately 14,000 employees. Learn more at www.hospira.com.

Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 --

A Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Hospira cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect Hospira's operations and may cause actual results to be materially different from expectations include the risks, uncertainties and factors discussed under the headings "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Hospira's latest Annual Report on Form 10-K, and Hospira's subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and incorporated by reference. Hospira undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as the result of subsequent events or developments.

SOURCE Hospira, Inc.

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