by Sean Power
July 24, 2014
This past weekend (July 17) marks the anniversary of the tragic death of 18-year old Amanda Abbiehl, whose story serves as a powerful reminder of the need for continuous electronic monitoring.
Lynn Razzano, Clinical Nurse Consultant with the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, offers an appeal to her clinical colleagues:
“On the four year anniversary of the untimely passing away of 18-year old Amanda, hospitals need to think of how this could have been actively prevented. My hope is that this promotes more vigilance in appropriately assessing a patient when opioids are in use and ensuring that all patients receiving opioids are continuously electronically monitored.
“The time is now to prevent death from opioid-induced respiratory depression. It is as easy as ensuring the order is placed for continuous monitoring whenever opioids are ordered. This should be the new current standard of practice and one that proactively prevents opioid deaths from occurring.”
Join us in making a #Promise to Amanda today.
Patient safety champions: Promise to do everything you can to make it mandatory at your hospital for all patients on PCA pumps to be continuously electronically monitored with capnography and pulse oximetry.
Nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists: Encourage patients and families to share their experiences with respiratory monitoring. Promise to talk to decision makers about capnography and respiratory monitoring every chance you get. Use the PCA Safety Checklist before, during, and after initiating PCA treatment.
Hospital administrators: Build redundancies into the system. Mistakes are going to be made but adverse events are preventable. Monitor every patient and save lives. Tell us if your hospital monitors patients with capnography while they are connected to PCA pumps.
Patients and families: Come forward to share your story about capnography. Write, phone, or email your local congressperson about making zero preventable deaths a policy priority.
Read more about Amanda’s story at promisetoamanda.org or at WNDU’s latest coverage of the Promise to Amanda Foundation.