Must Reads, Opioid Safety

We Need to Rethink How We Use Opioids and Manage Pain

Financial responsibility for the opioid crisis is finally being meted out – Purdue Pharma is in the midst of settling thousands of opioid lawsuits and Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million for its opioid-related actions. These two pharmaceutical giants are likely just the tip of the defendant iceberg, with more lawsuits still to be filed and decided.

However, as much as some may wish to demonize opioids and their use, it should not be forgotten that opioids and their use are here to stay. Opioids are necessary for many medical procedures – could major surgery be done without opioids? As well, opioids are a necessity for many patients to manage their pain and for their chronic conditions.

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Opioid Safety

Where’s the J&J that Managed the Tylenol Crisis? The Opioid Crisis, A Story of Corporate Mismanagement

Editor’s note: In this editorial from the desk of PPAHS’s Executive Director,  Johnson & Johnson could have taken a lead in the opioid crisis, but has chosen not to.

By Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Recently, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a company that “believe(s) good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress,” was ordered to pay $572 million by Judge Thad Balkman of Cleveland County District Court in Oklahoma. Reported The New York Times about the judgment:

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Preventing Opioid Overdoses and Death: Let’s Start in the Hospitals

Editor’s Note: In this article, Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) with Arielle Bernstein Pinsof, MPP, Finn Partners and Gil Bashe, Managing Partner, Finn Partners Health Practice take the position that decreasing the opioid epidemic begins in the doctor’s office and healthcare facilities.

By Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) with Arielle Bernstein Pinsof, MPP, Finn Partners and Gil Bashe, Managing Partner, Finn Partners Health Practice

The tragedy of our national opioid epidemic has gripped hearts and headlines for months now with heartbreaking personal stories, images and statistics. But the truth is, not all overdose deaths are taking place on the streets — so while physicians and lawmakers race to find interventions that work on the front lines in our communities, shouldn’t we also take concrete steps to reduce opioid overdoses in the clinical setting — where they are highly preventable — where the full range of interventions are at hand?

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Opioid Safety

Clinicians’ Roles in the Opioid Epidemic Articles PPAHS have been reading the week January 21, 2019

Editor’s note: In this week’s must reads, we look at articles that discuss the role of clinicians in the opioid epidemic.

Last week, we posted the article, “Is this the Right Question to Ask – Who’s to Blame for the Opioid Epidemic?” In that editorial, we applauded the efforts of the Massachusetts Attorney General in seeking to fine culpability and responsibility for the opioid epidemic. A lawsuit filed by the state of Massachusetts against Purdue Pharma alleges that the company, the Sackler family (which controls Purdue), and Purdue executives misled doctors and patients about the potential addictive qualities of opioids and, in particular, OxyContin, which Purdue manufactures.

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Opioid Safety, Patient Safety, Respiratory Compromise

3 Recommendations to Implement to Improve Patient Safety During Sedation PPAHS Wishes You a Safe and Happy New Year!

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety wishes you a safe and Happy New Year!

To help make 2019 patient safe, please implement the following 3 recommendations to keep your patients safe:

Patients Receiving Opioids Must Be Monitored With Continuous Electronic Monitoring

Much of the public attention has been focused on the harm caused by prescription use and abuse of opioids. However, there is another facet that must be focused on: opioid-induced respiratory depression in clinical settings. This includes patients undergoing moderate and conscious sedation, or recovering from procedures and managing pain using a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump, particularly those during the postoperative period.

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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)

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Opioid Safety, Patient Safety, Physician-Patient Relationship

3 Key Patient Safety Initiatives for 2019 PPAHS Presents at the AARC Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit

At the recent 4th Annual AARC Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit, Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) discussed 3 key patient safety initiatives for PPAHS for 2019.

Key #patientsafety initiatives for 2019 discussed at @aarc_tweets Respiratory‏Patient Advocacy Summit Click To Tweet

Also speaking with Mr. Wong on the panel discussion were:

Tim Myers (Chief Business Officer, AARC) moderated the session.

The 3 key patient safety initiatives for 2019 emphasized by Mr. Wong are:

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Can Negligence Result in Safer Patient Care? Steward Health Care Owned Holy Family Hospital Nurse Found Negligent in Helen Bousquet Sleep Apnea Case

The recent jury finding that a Holy Family Hospital nurse was negligent in the care of Helen Marie Bousquet raises the question whether negligence can result in safer patient care.

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

According to recently released press release by the Estate of Helen Marie Bousquet:

“A jury in the Essex County Superior Court in Lawrence, Massachusetts found that a Steward Health Care owned Holy Family Hospital nurse was negligent in her care of Helen Marie Bousquet on Monday, Sept. 17.”

Helen Marie Bousquet tragically passed away after what has been described by her son, Brian Evans, singer and nominee for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, as “a basic routine procedure” for knee surgery. Mr. Evans said that her tragic and avoidable death highlights the need for better assessment of patients for sleep apnea and for better treatment and monitoring of such patients before, during and after surgery.

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Hospitals to be Evaluated on Their Sleep Apnea Preparedness Brian Evans and The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety Announce Creation of the Helen Marie Bousquet Fund

Brian Evans, singer and nominee for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, and the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) announce plans to evaluate hospitals on their sleep apnea preparedness.

Helen Marie Bousquet tragically passed away after what is being described by her son, Mr. Evans, as “a basic routine procedure” for knee surgery. Mr. Evans said that her tragic and avoidable death highlights the need for better assessment of patients for sleep apnea and for better treatment and monitoring of such patients before, during and after surgery.

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Opioids Can Kill People in the Hospital Too

In an article for DoctorWeighsIn, Michael Wong, JD, discusses why opioids don’t just cause harm on the “street”. Opioids can kill people in hospital too!

Much of the public attention on the opioid-epidemic has been focused on the harm caused by prescription use and abuse of opioids. However, there is another facet that must be focused on: opioid-induced respiratory depression in clinical settings.

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