Respiratory Compromise Prevention Exists: So Why Aren’t Hospitals Using It?

by Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Hospitals Find New Ways to Monitor Patients 24/7” discusses a critical patient safety issue—patients receiving opioids can suffer from respiratory compromise and decompensate rapidly, resulting in a serious adverse events or death.

The article refers to a study led by David Westfall Bates, MD (Chief Quality Officer and Chief of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor, Harvard Medical School). During their investigation, researchers found that “continuous monitoring on a medical-surgical unit was associated with a significant decrease in total length of stay in the hospital, and in intensive care unit, days for transferred patients, as well as lower code blue rates.”


Dr. Bates and his colleagues also showed that “implementation of this monitoring system was associated with a highly positive return on investment.”

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Are Hospitals and Doctors Aware?

This and similar research raises four questions all patients and their loved ones would want to know …

To read the full article, please go to The Doctor Weighs In.

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