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