Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Monitoring with Capnography Improves Patient Safety

In this article published in the December 2018 issue of the British Columbia Medical Journal, Drs Richard Merchant and Matt Kurrek encourage the use of capnographic monitoring to improve the safety of patients undergoing procedural sedation.

By Richard Merchant, MD, FRCPC (Clinical Professor, University of British Columbia, Department of Anesthesia, Pharmacology, & Therapeutics) explained in a clinical education podcast with Matt Kurrek, MD, FRCPC (Professor, Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto)

Procedural sedation, called conscious sedation in the past, is the administration of sedative agents that have the ability to depress ventilation as well as consciousness. This form of sedation often relies on opioids and is used during procedures that may cause temporary pain or anxiety, such as dental surgery and endoscopy. The Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society and other leading medical societies and organizations have identified opioid-related adverse events as a major patient safety concern and recommend the use of capnographic monitoring during procedural sedation, particularly when the patient cannot be observed directly. Numerous studies have shown that capnographic monitoring during deeper levels of sedation allows an early rescue intervention and prevents desaturation, although these studies fall short of showing that capnography saves lives. Clinicians using capnography for patients undergoing procedural sedation should remain aware that they play a vital role in ensuring patient safety and must not be lulled into a false sense of security or think that the use of capnography can replace a vigilant sedation provider.

Leading medical societies and organizations recommend the use of #capnography monitoring during procedural sedation #patientsafety #opioid Click To Tweet

To read a complete copy of the article, please click here.

To listen to the clinical education podcast with  Drs Merchant and Kurrek, please click here.

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