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Wesley Medical Center Nominated for Best of 2013 Respiratory Care: Improves Patient Safety By Reducing Opioid-Related Adverse Events to Zero
Date:7/9/2013

that score as a high risk."

The study by researchers at Wesley Medical Center suggests exhaled CO2 monitoring of patients using patient-controlled analgesia pumps could help reduce the occurrence of this adverse event. Specifically, Ms. Fox and Dr. Wencel examined respiratory depression rates with the use of PCA pumps and intermittent IV opioids for pain management.Respiratory depression is an identified patient safety issue.

As The Joint Commission recently stated in its Sentinel Event Alert, "Safe Use of Opioids in Hospitals": "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."

As Dr. Wencel concluded about the study, "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."

Wesley Medical Center won the ISMP Cheers Award in 2012 in recognition for its efforts to improve PCA outcomes.

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 http://www.ppahs.org


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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
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