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:11/30/2015)... TERRACE, Wash. and ST. LOUIS ... and Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today announced ... agreement. The partnership, which began in 1999, will now ... --> --> After evaluating pharmacy benefit ... Premera concluded that Express Scripts continues to offer the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... NASHUA, N.H. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today that it will feature its latest solutions ... the early identification of cancer at the Radiological ... in Chicago from November ... showcase recent product advances including iReveal®, an automated ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 NHS ... further 20 TrueBeam™ machines from Varian Medical Systems ... ongoing program to replace older machines and institute ... the UK,s public hospitals. The order, placed in ... 50 licenses for Varian,s RapidArc® and Eclipse™ software ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to Los Angeles bariatric surgeon ... are not necessarily caused by real hunger, but instead by a hormone called ... notes that, while many patients are aware that weight loss surgery can help patients ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... RoamRight, a leading provider of ... Public Television’s Travel With Kids to promote family vacations around the world. ... they explore international destinations and educate families about the people and places of the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... At Grand Dental PC, their priority is to deliver quality care ... problems, you need to turn to a dentist who listens and responds; an experienced ... friendly dentist who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... specializes in general dentistry out of Glen Ridge, NJ. He has both ... to achieve optimal mastication. He is also an expert in cosmetic dentistry. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ”Dying Words: The AIDS Reporting of ... December 1, 2015, to coincide with World AIDS Day. The multi-media project will be ... the AIDS epidemic as he was dying of the disease. , A collaborative effort ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):