Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

PPAHS Presents at International Conference on Opioids

At the International Conference on Opioids (ICOO), which took place in Boston June 5-7, 2016, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) presented a poster on the survey of nurses it conducted. The survey’s objective was to identify:

  • Practices and technologies that nurses believe are needed to reduce the occurrence of respiratory compromise and
  • Those areas of medical practice that would benefit most from improved intervention.

Reducing the Risks of Respiratory Compromise

Reducing the Risks of Respiratory Compromise

The survey results indicated key practices and areas of focus to improve standards for continuous patient monitoring:

  • Continuous electronic monitoring should be deployed with postoperative patients, patients with reduced level of consciousness, patients with restrictive lung disease, patients receiving opioids or nervous central system depressants, and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Efforts to reduce the risk of respiratory compromise should prioritize surgery floors, ICU and emergency wards.
  • The need for risk assessment tools and more on-going training to recognize signs of respiratory compromise.
  • A preference for continuous monitoring technology that is (a) wearable and wireless and (b) capable of measuring multiple parameters.

Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, PPAHS) said he hoped that the survey’s findings would prompt future research into what clinicians may need to increase the use of continuous electronic monitoring. In particular, he noted that need to broaden the survey to include more nurses and other clinicians, and to refine and add survey questions which may further understanding.

To view a pdf of the poster, please click here.

For reactions from conference attendees on the poster, please view this PPAHS post.

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