Important information on COVID-19 / Renseignements importants sur la COVID-19!

We are asking all patients and visitors coming to HSN to please wear a mask as an added step to reduce the spread of germs and protect vulnerable patients. Handmade masks are acceptable as are those available at retailers in our community. Patients going for a procedure where they must remove their mask will be asked to store it with their personal items. If you arrive at the hospital as a patient or care partner and do not have a mask, one will be provided to you and you will be expected to wear it during your time at HSN to keep yourself, other patients and care partners and our staff, physicians, learners and volunteers safe.

Before coming to the hospital, please check our COVID-19 info page for updates.

    Pain Control

    Intravenous (IV) Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA)

    Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) is a pain control technique that allows the patient to control their pain, by pressing a button. The pump delivers a small amount of medicine through an IV. Safety features on the pump are set to limit you from getting too much medication, and nurses will monitor you closely. You are the only person who is allowed to push the button. Family, friends, and nurses are not allowed to push the button for you. 

    Click here for more information on PCA pumps.

    Epidural Analgesia

    Epidural analgesia is often used for surgeries involving the chest and bowels. A small tube is placed between the bones in the back, into the epidural space. A dressing is applied to the tube to keep it in place, and the other end is attached to a pump. The pump delivers a controlled amount of medication continuously. The types of medications used for this procedure include local anesthetic (freezing) and opioids, and they work to decrease sensations to a specific area so you do not experience pain. Epidurals are usually in place for 2-5 days. 

    Click here for more information on Epidural Analgesia.

    Spinal (Intrathecal) Anesthesia

    This type of anesthesia is often used for surgeries involving hips, knees, and the lower abdomen. A small needle is inserted between the bones in the back, into the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord. Anesthetic medication is injected into this space, and the needle is removed. The types of medications used for this procedure are local anesthetic (freezing) and opioids. This procedure works to block pain sensations after surgery, and it is normal to not be able to move your legs for up to 4 hours following the procedure.

    Click here for information on Post-Dural Headaches

    Nerve Blocks

    Local anesthetic (freezing) is given through a needle to block the nerves to the shoulder, arm, leg, foot, chest, or abdomen, to stop pain sensations. Nerve blocks can be a single dose or continuous. A single dose nerve block can last between 12-24 hours. A continuous nerve block involves inserting a small tube near the nerves to a certain area. The tube is secured to the skin with a dressing, and is attached to a pump. The pump delivers a controlled amount of anesthetic continuously. Continuous nerve blocks are usually in place for 2-3 days.

    Click here for information on discharge instructions after a nerve block.

     Type of Block  Interscalene Block  Axillary/Infraclavicular
     Femoral Block  Popliteal Fossa Block  Transverse Abdominus
    Plain (TAP) Block
     Area Affected Shoulder, upper arm Lower arm, elbow, hand Thigh, knee Ankle, foot Abdomen Chest


    The APS team will work with each patient to develop the best plan of care relative to their unique needs. The team also offers expertise with multimodal oral analgesics that can be used alongside other pain management modalities. Examples of oral analgesics include:

    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s)
    • Tramadol
    • Opioids
    • Other (local anesthetics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants)