Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (December 2, 2016)

This week in #patientsafety, we look at the fact that opioid safety has yet again made the list of the ECRI Institute’s Top 10 Technology Hazards and we look at some key aspects of St. Joseph/Candler’s success in its continuous electronic monitoring program. From around the web, we share a video explaining how opioids cause harm and how their overprescription leads to drugs piling up in cupboards at home. We also share a story of a mother who died from blood clots – the coroner says her death was preventable.


Opioid Safety is again an ECRI Top-10 Health Technology Hazards for 2017. This is bittersweet. Bitter, because this problem is a major epidemic that has been going on for too long; sweet, because at least the topic is getting the attention it deserves.

Preventing Opioid-Related Adverse Events with Capnography. Continuous electronic monitoring has helped reduce serious adverse events related to opioid-induced respiratory depression at St. Joseph/Candler.

From Around the Web:

How the powerful opioid fentanyl kills. A video from the CBC explains how opioids work, and how they cause harm. Great for explaining the opioid epidemic to a lay audience.

Unused Opioids Pile Up in Medicine Cabinets, While Overprescribing Contributes to National Epidemic. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, have found that health care providers dispense far more medicine than is necessary to treat pain after pediatric outpatient surgery.

Mum who died of blood clots two weeks after giving birth could have been saved, finds coroner. Marie Tompkins died from a blood clot. The coroner says the doctor failed to refer her to a scan that could have detected it.

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