Patient Safety, Practices & Tips

Malignant Hyperthermia Is Your Facility Prepared?

[Editor’s note: This poster was accepted for presentation at the 2020 AORN National Conference and Surgical Expo, which unfortunately has been canceled because of the current Covid-19 crisis. However, the information contained on the poster contains important information that all healthcare facilities should be aware of and implement to prevent Malignant Hyperthermia and to minimize patient harm and prevent patient mortality, so we asked the poster authors to discuss their findings here. 

By Thereza  B. Ayad, RN, DNP, CNOR and Lynn Razzano, RN, MSN, ONC CMSRN

Malignant Hyperthermia (MH) complicates 1:100,000 adult surgical cases. MH is a severe reaction to a dose of anesthetics – infrequently, extreme exercise or a heat stroke can trigger MH in someone with a muscle abnormality where the individual’s muscle cells have an abnormal protein on their surfaces.

Although rare, MH can be fatal. 

MH symptoms/ manifestations include:

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Nursing Recommendations on How Capnography Improves Patient Safety

Nursing recommendations from ARIN and AORN encouraged Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to monitor with capnography patients undergoing procedural sedation.

In a podcast with the Physician-Physician Alliance for Health Safety, Barbara McArthur, RN, BScN, CPN(C), an advanced practice nurse at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada, discussed why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre decided to monitor with capnography.

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Lessons Learned from a Survey Assessing Nurses’ Awareness and Perceptions of Opioids and the Impact of Postsurgical Pain Management Medication Interventions

[Editor’s note: Amy Smalarz led the survey research. Lynn Razzano assisted with the article writing, but was not involved with the design, conduct, or analysis of the survey.]

By Amy Smalarz PhD, MHA (President and Co-Founder, Strategic Market Insight) and Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Postsurgical pain management with opioids is tricky business. Not only do you have to think about which medication delivery interventions to use (PCA IV opioids, continuous wound infiltration, continuous epidural or femoral nerve block to name a few), but you must consider the type and amount of medication, then responsibly monitor the patient effectively. We know all too well about the dangers and challenges of ensuring the effectiveness of the medication as well as the safety of the patients; for example, The Joint Commission issued Sentinel Event Alert #49 and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices recently issued yet another Medication Safety Alert. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

8 Key Steps for Ensuring Opioid Safety in Pregnant Patients: No Need to Whisper, Time to Shout Out the Need

By Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Opioid management for pregnant patients requires particular care and caution. After all, there really are two lives to think about, consider and factor in – that of the mother and her baby!

With these types of concerns in mind, on Oct. 23-Oct. 24, 2014, over 200 obstetrics and gynecology nurses attended the Massachusetts chapter conference of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

5 Findings From an Opioid Awareness Survey Conducted at AORN Annual Conference

by Amy Smalarz, PhD, President and Co-Founder, Strategic Market Insight
July 8, 2014

Although opioids may be used as the “standard of care” or “common practice” for postsurgical pain management, it is important to understand the impact of their use as it’s directly related to the Triple Aims. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

8 overlooked ways to improve patient safety

Fierce Healthcare recently reported on the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety presentation at this year’s AORN annual conference.

As Fierce Healthcare reported:

When it comes to patient safety, it’s essential for nurses and staff to properly manage and monitor patients receiving opioids, field leaders said.

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

8 Key Points to Improving Patient Safety: Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety Presents at AORN Annual Conference 2014

At the annual conference of Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), which took place March 30 – April 2, 2014, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) presented eight key points to improve patient safety and health outcomes.

Three of the most commonly overlooked clinical points are:

  • Verify hand–off or transition of care from nurse-to–nurse that continuous electronic monitoring is in place, has been maintained and double-checked.
  • Double check PCA dosing, pump parameters, and continuous monitor settings.
  • Include in the post-operative orders daily lead changes and hands off communication on lead changes to decrease nuisance alarms.

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

AORN Poster Presentation: Unrecognized Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression and PCA Safety Checklist

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) recently presented a poster presentation at the 60th Congress of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN).

This poster discussed the problem of opioid-induced respiratory depression, particularly regarding patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). As well, the presentation focused on the place of the recently released PCA Safety Checklist in addressing opioid warnings expressed by The Joint Commission in its Sentinel Event Alert of safe use of opioids in hospitals. Read More