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ABBOTT INTRODUCES PAIN MANAGEMENT PROVIDER DESIGNED FOR EPIDURAL ANALGESIA ADMINISTRATION

 ABBOTT INTRODUCES PAIN MANAGEMENT PROVIDER
 DESIGNED FOR EPIDURAL ANALGESIA ADMINISTRATION
 ABBOTT PARK, Ill., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A new, easy-to-use, electronic drug delivery system developed by Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is the first device designed for the administration of epidural analgesia.
 The Abbott Pain Management Provider (PMP) infusion system delivers continuous epidural analgesia or continuous epidural analgesia with bolus (loading) doses for the relief of postsurgical pain. Patients undergoing thoracic surgeries, joint replacements, abdominal and obstetrical procedures are key candidates to benefit from this pain management approach.
 Earlier this month, the federal government's new Agency for Health Care Policy and Research released a report calling for "aggressive pain management before, during and after surgery." The agency recommended that pain medication therapy be started before the onset of pain, because pain is easier to prevent than to suppress once it has begun. Epidural drug delivery is one method of postsurgical pain control recommended by the agency in its practice guidelines.
 -- Epidural Analgesia Administration
 Epidural analgesia is a technique for administering pain controlling medications through a small catheter placed in the epidural space that lies outside the spinal cord. Through this catheter, pain medication is delivered directly to pain receptors in the spinal cord. Epidural catheters are usually placed by an anesthesiologist before the patient is taken to the operating room.
 Pain impulses originate in nerves that begin in the skin and travel first to the spinal cord and then to the brain, where the pain impulse is perceived by the patient. Epidural analgesia interrupts the pathway of the pain sensation before it gets to the brain.
 Epidural analgesia has been available for use since the 1980s, and is used frequently in obstetrics for relief of labor pain. However, it is beginning to be used more frequently for postoperative pain relief.
 One of the new Abbott system's designers, Timothy R. Lubenow, M.D., associate director of the Rush Pain Center, part of Chicago's Rush- Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, has tested the new system for epidural analgesia administration extensively.
 "Continuous epidural infusion provides for a more consistent level of analgesia, avoiding the peaks and valleys associated with intermittent bolus technique," Lubenow said.
 "It lets us titrate analgesia to a patient's needs," Dr. Lubenow, director of Rush's Postoperative Analgesia Services continued. "It's particularly useful since postoperative pain is not necessarily a constant throughout the day."
 -- New System Facilitates Epidural Administration
 Continuous epidural infusion, Dr. Lubenow explained, has particular benefits to the hospital staff as well. "It allows for simple maintenance of analgesia and removes the need for anesthesia personnel to reinject epidural catheters at intermittent intervals. The PMP will facilitate epidural analgesia administration for postoperative pain, where the maintenance of mobility and awareness, with minimal side effects is desirable," he said.
 Light-weight and portable, the PMP allows patients to be ambulatory.
 The PMP's self-prompting programming menu helps eliminate procedural error and takes only a few simple steps to program. The system requires minimal training.
 The PMP easily adjusts to a range of delivery rates (0.1 mL to 25 mL/hr in 0.1 mL increments) and accepts all typical drug concentrations to provide maximum flexibility for the clinician.
 Safety features include built-in alarms for air or occlusions in the line, medication depletion, low power and device malfunction. The infuser operates on AC power as well as two 9-volt batteries with a capacity of five days at a minimum delivery of 6.0 mL/hour.
 Designed by a team of clinical professionals, the PMP is part of a dedicated, fully compatible system, including infuser, color-coded epidural administration set, catheter and choice of Abbott epidural anesthesia trays.
 Available for marketing in December 1991, the PMP is indicated for short-term postsurgical epidural administration, not to exceed 96 hours.
 Abbot's leadership in pain management technology began in the U.S. in 1984, when the company introduced the first electronic delivery system for patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). Today, Abbott PCA systems are helping patients self-medicate in more than 4,000 hospitals around the country.
 Abbott Laboratories is a worldwide manufacturer of healthcare products employing some 46,000 people. In 1991, the company's sales and net earnings were $6.9 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively, with earnings per share of $2.55.
 -0- 3/20/92 R
 /EDITORS NOTE: A backgrounder is also available. Please call Regina Lemke (contact) to receive a faxed copy./
 /CONTACT: Regina Lemke of Abbott Laboratories, 708-937-0822/
 (ABT) CO: Abbott Laboratories ST: Illinois IN: MTC SU: PDT


AH -- NY034R -- 0156 03/20/92 14:20 EST
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Date:Mar 20, 1992
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