Navigation Links
Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety: Addressing The Joint Commission Opioid Warnings Can Reduce Respiratory Depression and Improve Patient Safety in Hospitals

CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety says recent research demonstrates how hospitals can address The Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert, "Safe Use of Opioids in Hospitals."

Respiratory depression is an identified patient safety issue. As The Joint Commission recently stated:

"While opioid use is generally safe for most patients, opioid analgesics may be associated with adverse effects, the most serious effect being respiratory depression, which is generally preceded by sedation."

Respiratory depression has been associated with the use of opioid analgesics. However, a recent study by researchers at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kan., suggests exhaled CO2 monitoring of patients using patient-controlled analgesia pumps could help reduce the occurrence of this adverse event. Specifically, Debra Fox, MBA, RRT-NPS, and Mark Wencel, MD, examined respiratory depression rates with the use of PCA pumps and intermittent IV opioids for pain management.

The Joint Commission, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices recommend the monitoring of exhaled CO2 to detect respiratory depression to increase patient safety with pain medication administration. Consequently, the Wesley Medical Center converted to a "smart" infusion pump system with integrated capnography. These smart pumps monitored levels of exhaled CO2, thereby detecting a potential adverse drug event and respiratory depression early on.

"Opioid analgesia may result in unrecognized or at least unattributed deaths. The risk of patient deaths from PCA prompted Wesley to invest in 'smart' pump technology with integrated capnography.  We are strong advocates for end tidal CO2 measurement with capnography over the sometimes suggested pulse oximetry," explained Ms. Fox.

In 2010 the Wesley Medical Center decided to develop a safe pain management program and formed a multidisciplinary team of providers to oversee its implementation, explains Dr. Wencel, who worked on the project. "We formed a multidisciplinary team made up professionals from respiratory care, pharmacy, anesthesia, and nursing. We included key physicians who collaborated on hospital-wide policies and procedures. Involving multiple stakeholders within the hospital meant that new processes received buy-in from key people," he says.

"Since implementing the smart infusion pump system with integrated capnography the incidence of severe ADRs has fallen to below 5 percent. Just three years ago the figure was three times that rate," says Ms. Fox.

Dr. Wencel adds, "The percentage of moderate and severe ADRs progressing to code blue fell from just under 13 percent to just over 4 percent. Through the first half of 2011, that progression rate sat at 0 percent."

For the complete article, please see or visit

About PPAHS 

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) is an advocacy group devoted to improving patient health and safety. PPAHS supporters include physicians, patients, individuals, and organizations. PPAHS recently released a concise checklist that reminds caregivers of the essential steps needed to be taken to initiate Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) with a patient and to continue to assess that patient's use of PCA. For more information and to download the PCA safety checklist, please visit

SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety: Four Technology Recommendations to Reduce Alarm Fatigue
2. Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety Announces New Expert Checklist for Facilitating Safety of Hospital-Based Intravenous Patient-Controlled Analgesia Pumps
3. Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety: Monitoring the High-Acuity Patient: Does Risk Stratification Increase or Decrease Patient Safety?
4. Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety: Monitoring Technology for PCA Pumps Can Prevent Adverse Events: So Why Are Hospitals Not Using It?
5. Radiation Therapy Alliance Commends CMS for Mitigating Drastic Cuts to Radiation Oncology
6. Aquavit Pharmaceuticals forms Alliance Partnership with Accelrys
7. Donor Alliance Named Colorados Top Healthcare Company
8. Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, Health Alliance Plan Work With Michigan Oncologists to Improve Quality, Curb Costs of Cancer Care
9. Western Pain Society Galvanizes Coalition to Launch the Alliance for Rational Use of NSAIDs
10. Denmarks National Telemedicine Action Plan To Be Built On Continua Health Alliance Design Guidelines For Personal Connected Health Devices
11. Regulus Therapeutics Forms Strategic Alliance for Discovery, Development and Commercialization of microRNA Therapeutics with AstraZeneca
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... to their offering. The ... commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population ... to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction ... considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- , , , WHEN: , ... , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with free ... EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice President ... Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new ... affiliate in Latin America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic ... World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. ... some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is ... a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the ... one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice ... States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm ... Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, ... at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health ... annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):