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Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County Boosts Patient Safety with Expanded Use of Capnography Technology
Date:4/24/2013

DARLINGTON, Wis., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County (MHLC) recently strengthened patient safety measures by expanding the use of capnography technology to monitor patients using patient controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps to regulate their pain.

PCA can provide an effective way to control pain by allowing patients to self-administer small doses of pain medication intravenously, but the technology poses unique risks for patients because the opioid medications used can also suppress the patient's breathing. The Joint Commission, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices all recommend that hospitals take special precautions including capnography and oximetry to monitor PCA users' quality of ventilation.

Specifically, capnography technology measures how effectively patients are breathing by measuring exhaled carbon dioxide and can alert medical caregivers when life-threatening respiratory depression occurs. Capnography provides the earliest indication of evolving respiratory compromise, which can lead to significant morbidity or even cardiopulmonary arrest if undetected. Oximetry monitors the patient's blood oxygen levels ensuring that the patient is receiving enough oxygen.

MHLC is among the nation's leaders in the early implementation of capnography to protect patients using PCA pumps. Long used in operating rooms to monitor patients under anesthesia, hospitals are now deploying capnography technology after surgery, as well. Early indication of respiratory depression with capnography enables medical staff to intervene before serious adverse events happen.1

"Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County considers patient safety our number one priority while providing the highest quality of care. Our widespread use of capnography to m
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SOURCE Memorial Hospital
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