Six Nursing Lessons: Nurse and Mother Reflects on the Untimely Death of Her Teenage Son

In an article in ADVANCE for Nurses, Pamela Parker, BSN, RN, CAPA discusses lessons that she learned on the timely death of her teenage son, Logan:

On July 23, 2007, my 17-year old son Logan died after successfully undergoing routine surgery to correct his sleep apnea. As a recovery room nurse, I have often asked myself how this could have been prevented.

By writing these six lessons I learned, I hope that other loved ones may be saved, other families spared the agony of losing a cherished member.


six lessons I learned as a #nurse and mother, I hope that other loved ones may be saved #ptsafety Click To Tweet

Pamela’s six lessons are:

Lesson #1 – All Patients Receiving Opioids Should be Assessed for Risk for Over-sedation and Respiratory Depression

Lesson #2 – Clinicians Must Recognize the Signs of Respiratory Compromise

Lesson #3 – All Patients Receiving Opioids Should be Continuously Electronically Monitored

Lesson #4 – Don’t Rely Upon Pulse Oximeters, Monitor with Capnography

Lesson #5 – All Patients Should be Monitored for an Extended Period in an Unstimulated Environment Prior to Discharge

Lesson #6 – Medical Interventions Shouldn’t be Based on Human Heroics, but on Process

To read, Pamela’s article in full and her six lessons, please go to

Pamela Parker has been a registered nurse for almost 25 years. She is a recovery room nurse and works in the ambulatory procedure unit at a hospital in Indiana. In addition to providing patient care, Pamela is a clinical educator and provides bereavement support. To help others with the loss of loved ones, she writes a blog “Hope for Grieving Mothers” (

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