The following is a position statement published by PPAHS. If you would prefer to view our statement as a PDF, please click here.
Much of the public attention has been focused on the harm caused by prescription use and abuse of opioids. However, there is another facet that must be focused on: opioid-induced respiratory depression in clinical settings. This includes patients undergoing moderate and conscious sedation, or recovering from procedures and managing pain using a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump, particularly those during the postoperative period.Continue reading “Patients Receiving Opioids Must Be Monitored With Continuous Electronic Monitoring”→
This week in #patientsafety, we took a step back to develop more substantial pieces that will be published in the near future. From around the web, Dr. Pronovost describes the results of a peer-to-peer hospital review program; Healthy Canadians, a collaborative initiative by a number of agencies within the Government of Canada, is re-promoting a 2015 video about prescription drug abuse; and, an article on how to use pain medication more safely.
Nothing this week.
From Around the Web:
How peer-to-peer review helps hospitals. In light of last week’s article on the impact of inspections on patient safety, this article by Peter Pronovost, MD, who served on the PPAHS PCA Safety Panel, is particularly timely.
Jordan’s Story. In this YouTube video, listen to Jordan’s story and how his dependence on pain medication led to tragedy.
This week in #patientsafety, we shine the spotlight again on findings from the Orthopedic VTE Safety Report, elaborating on last week’s announcement. From around the web, we look at an article questioning the role of doctors in opioid abuse, pain management scales, and a summary of the top stories from 2016.
A recent article published by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) has highlighted how respiratory therapists (RT) can play an integral role in using capnography to detect the signs of respiratory depression. The post focuses on the experiences of Peggy Lange, BA, RRT (RT Department Director, St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN).
Over a three month period, St. Cloud Hospital ran a pilot program to test the effectiveness of continuous capnography monitoring Center for Surgical Care, PACU, surgical care units, interventional radiology, electrophysiology lab, and emergency trauma center. The trial was successful, proving the monitors gave an early alert to the signs of respiratory distress, as well as resolving issues caused by nuisance alarms – particularly with patients experiencing sleep apnea or periods of hyperventilation. As a result, continuous capnography monitoring was implemented hospital-wide.Continue reading “Minnesota RTs Help Implement Continuous Capnography Program”→
Leah walked into a Los Angeles hospital a healthy, 11-year old girl. She needed an elective surgery to repair a condition called pectus carinatum. Despite delays, the surgery went well, but Leah was in considerable pain; to manage it, she was given escalating doses of fentanyl, along with Ativan.
Her mother, Lenore Alexander, was concerned by Leah’s increasing unresponsiveness – but was assured by staff that Leah would be ready to walk out of the hospital in the morning. Exhausted, Lenore took a nap by her daughter’s bedside; it would be the last time Leah was seen alive. Lenore woke to find Leah dead in bed.
In 2012, Lenore wrote an article for PPAHS asking if continuous monitoring would have saved her daughter, Leah. The answer, then, was a resounding “yes”. During her hospital stay, Leah received only infrequent spot checks from staff to confirm her condition despite the administration of powerful opioids. If only she were monitored with capnography and pulse oximetry – we would not have another tragic story to tell.
Opioid safety is one of the top patient safety concerns in the U.S.; with more than 2 million Americans dependent on opioids, opioid-related harm is an issue that has spans the continuum of clinical and public safety.
On August 25, 2016, the Surgeon General issued a letter to physicians urging them to take a part in combating the opioid epidemic. On the Surgeon General website, healthcare providers are encouraged to help solve the opioid epidemic.
The PPAHS conducted a survey to gauge how clinicians and the public felt about the Surgeon General’s recommendations to fight the opioid epidemic, with results released early November. Key aspects of the survey were recently featured in an article published by Advance for Nurses. The Advance Healthcare Network also distilled the survey’s top data points and recommendations.Continue reading “The U.S. Opioid Epidemic In Numbers”→
On August 25, 2016, the Surgeon General issued a letter to physicians urging them to take a part in combating the opioid epidemic. On the Surgeon General website, healthcare providers are encouraged to help solve the opioid epidemic:
“Our nation faces an opioid crisis. Health care providers are uniquely positioned to help communities and their patients #TurnTheTide on the opioid epidemic. Providers can be the solution. Join the movement. Sign the pledge.”