Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Capnography

Editor’s Note: This research was presented as a poster at the 2017 ANCC National Magnet Conference.

By Eric Griffin MSN, RN, CEN (Magnet Program Director, Baystate Medical Center) and Laura Bolella MSN, RN (Assistant Nurse Manager, Baystate Medical Center)

For over a hundred years nurses have monitored the same vital signs. Unfortunately these vital signs can be slow to change, inaccurate, and misleading. Although there have been modern advances in physiological monitoring devices, their acceptance has been limited. Pulse oximetry developed in the early 1970’s is extremely useful in measuring oxygenation, although it has limitations related to the following factors: poor signal strength, fingernail polish, anemia, patient motion, calloused skin, hypoperfusion, time lag, and vasoconstriction.

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