Medtronic has announced that its new patient-activated pain-control device is now available in the U.S.
The device, known as the Personal Therapy Manager (PTM), enables patients with Medtronic's SynchroMed II drug pumps to respond to pain by delivering increased doses of medication pre-prescribed by a doctor. Previously, these patients received a constant flow of medication in amounts that had been pre-set by a physician using a programmer.
The PTM is a hand-held device about the size of a cell phone. Patients use the PTM by pressing a button, which triggers the delivery of a physician-prescribed dose of liquid morphine after the device software verifies that the "lockout interval," or the time during which the patient cannot receive additional doses of medication, has elapsed.
The SynchroMed system is used to treat all types of severe chronic pain by delivering small, controlled amounts of medication to the intrathecal space, the fluid-filled area in the spinal column through which pain signals travel.