Editor’s note: In this editorial from the desk of PPAHS’s Executive Director, Johnson & Johnson could have taken a lead in the opioid crisis, but has chosen not to.
By Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
Recently, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a company that “believe(s) good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress,” was ordered to pay $572 million by Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County District Court in Oklahoma. Reported The New York Times about the judgment:
This week, the articles that we have been reading at the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) discuss interesting ideas to improve patient care:
Use Artificial Intelligence to Manage Opioid Use
As the opioid crisis continues on, this article by Cami Rosso, “Using AI to Manage Opioid Use in Hospital ICUs” raises an interesting possibility – the use of artificial intelligence to manage opioid use:
Freelance writer and in recovery himself, Peter Lang discusses 8 signs that you may have an opioid addiction. To learn more and get help, please visit The Recovery Village.
Opiate addiction is a crisis in America. The proportion of the abusers of pain medication is not just alarming; it has reached critical levels. According to research, about one in every four opioid prescriptions ends up in the hands of abusers. About 35,000 people die every year from this menace. Further studies show that at least 12.5 million people abused opioids in 2015 alone. These pain-relieving medications include methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl, and morphine. Some are legal, while others are not.
Using benzodiazepines and opioids may be a deadly combination. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 30% of opioid overdoses involve the use of benzodiazepines.
One of the commonly overlooked complications to safe opioid administration is failing to account for the additive sedation effects of non-opioid medication. In recognition of these dangers, in August 2016, the FDA issued its strongest warning about combined use of opioids and benzodiazepines and issued another caution more recently on September 20, 2017.
Abstract: The lesson learned from the death of Michelle McNamara – taking opioids can kill you. The opioid fentanyl can cause delayed respiratory depression and tragically death, particularly when used in combination with other sedating drugs.
Michelle McNamara, the writer and wife of comedian Patton Oswalt, died unexpectedly in her sleep in April 2016. Mr. Oswalt says that her death was caused by a toxic mixture of fentanyl and other drugs. As reported by People:
From the articles we have been reading this week, here are 3 tips for managing pain and using opioids safely.
#1 Tip for Managing Pain and Using Opioids Safely – Premier Safety Institute new toolkit helps providers manage pain, curb opioid use
In 2017, we had many interesting patient safety articles – from the PPAHS staff, our Executive Director, guest clinicians and patient safety advocates. Our top 12 patient articles for 2017 focus on the use and management of opioids, and the tragic loss of patient lives from failure to monitor opioid use appropriately:
Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety clinical education podcasts feature interviews on their practices and recommendations for improving patient safety and health outcomes.
Our top 5 patient safety podcasts are:
Nursing recommendations from ARIN and AORN encouraged Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to monitor with capnography patients undergoing procedural sedation.
In a podcast with the Physician-Physician Alliance for Health Safety, Barbara McArthur, RN, BScN, CPN(C), an advanced practice nurse at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada, discussed why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre decided to monitor with capnography.
The Physician-Physician Alliance for Health Safety has released a clinical education podcast on capnography monitoring during conscious sedation with Barbara McArthur, RN, BScN, CPN(C). Ms. McArthur is an advanced practice nurse at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada.
Capnography Monitoring: An Early Indicator of Patient Deterioration
After reviewing the current literature, Sunnybrook decided that monitoring with capnography resulted in safer patient care. Capnography monitoring provides an early indicator of patient deterioration, which can be crucial in averting adverse events and patient deaths. Capnography monitoring, says Ms. McArthur, is monitoring in “real time. With pulse oximetry, there is a delay, which could be up to a minute in healthy patients. So, that’s a significant sort of time that is delayed that reaction could happen.”