Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Nursing Spot Checks for Patient Safety: A Nurse’s Perspective

(This article first published in Advance for Nurses, which covers the issues that matter most to nurses practicing in all areas of the profession. As that publication winds down, we have archived some articles here.)

By Malinda Loflin, RN, BSN. Malinda is a certified case manager at a hospital in Oklahoma City. During her 22 years as a registered nurse, her clinical experience has been in many specialty areas including the operating room, post-anesthesia care unit, and the emergency department. In 2006, her father tragically died of opioid-induced respiratory depression after a routine surgery. She shared her experience and the impact that it has had on her and her family at the 2011 Anesthesia Patient Safety Conference.

Nursing spot checks on postoperative patients receiving opioids are not enough to ensure the safety of patients. I say this as both a registered nurse who works at a large medical center and as a daughter who has had the misfortune of seeing her own father die between nurses’ spot checks. Read More