The theme of this year’s American Thoracic Society annual conference was “where today’s science meets tomorrow’s care.” In keeping with that theme, we would like to highlight one poster on detection of opioid-induced respiratory depression through continuous electronic monitoring. To view a copy of the poster, please go to the ATS website or see an image of the poster below.
“Measuring vital signs every four hours is an outdated and dangerous practice. Patients on our hospital wards deserve continuous vital sign monitoring so they are not found ‘dead in bed,’” said Dr. Frank Overdyk, a Charleston-based anesthesiologist and expert on respiratory compromise. Dr. Overdyk is also a member of our board of advisors.
The study analyzed 6,590 hospitalization days and detected 91 events of respiratory depression. The positive predictive value of 70% of events were classified as respiratory depression or sleep apnea related. Additionally, the study indicated a very low false alarm rate – less than one in 5,000 hours of monitoring, translating to just one false alarm every seven months The study also covered a range of care units and highlighted the variance in incidence rate. Long term care units had the lowest incidence rate of respiratory depression, while post-op units had the highest. Please see an image of the poster presented at the ATS conference:
“One of the key complications resulting from opioid use in hospitalized patients is respiratory distress that can lead to ICU transfers and sadly, even death. Moreover, respiratory depression is a key risk factor across the healthcare continuum, from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities,” explained Michael Wong, JD, Executive Director of The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS). “For this reason,all patients receiving opioids should be continuously electronically monitored, to help provide early detection of the risk of respiratory depression and enable timely intervention.”
Though much of the attention to end the opioid epidemic is centered on the improper use of opioids in the community (misuse, diversion, etc), the truth is that opioid harm exists across a continuum of care. The safe use of opioids begins with the safe use of opioid analgesics in the hospital setting and the prescription of opioids upon discharge of the patient from a healthcare facility. We must first and foremost make sure that opioids provided to patients are done so in a safe manner both during administration and upon discharge.
By Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
Opioid-related deaths are a leading national and community concern. Unfortunately, reports of opioid-related deaths occur with astonishing regularity in our daily news feeds.
Though much of the attention on opioid-related harm is centered on the improper use of opioids in the community (misuse, diversion, etc), the truth is that opioid harm exists across a continuum of care. The safe use of opioids begins with the safe use of opioid analgesics in the hospital setting and the prescription of opioids upon discharge of the patient from a healthcare facility. We must first and foremost make sure that opioids provided to patients are done so in a safe manner both during administration and upon discharge.Continue reading “We Need to Focus on Patient Safety to Battle the Opioid Epidemic: 5 Key Steps to a More Balanced Approach”→
This week in #patientsafety, PPAHS featured a new report by the Respiratory Compromise Institute on preventing respiratory compromise. From around the web, a study shows voluntary participation in checklists can reduce post-surgery deaths, a look at the demographics of opioid use, and a look at challenges faced by CIOs in improving opioid safety. Continue reading “Patient Safety Weekly Must Reads (April 29, 2017)”→
In a recent interview with Peggy Lange, RT (Director of the Respiratory Care Department, St. Cloud Hospital) conducted by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS), Ms. Lange discussed why intermittent monitoring does not foster quality patient care.
Researchers at the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) invite nurses to participate in an anonymous, secure, online survey about hospital monitoring of patients with respiratory compromise – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Nursing-Monitoring