Opioid Safety, Practices & Tips, Respiratory Compromise

Minnesota RTs Help Implement Continuous Capnography Program

peggy lange

Peggy Lange, BA, RRT (RT Department Director, St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN)

A recent article published by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) has highlighted how respiratory therapists (RT) can play an integral role in using capnography to detect the signs of respiratory depression.  The post focuses on the experiences of Peggy Lange, BA, RRT (RT Department Director, St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN).

Over a three month period, St. Cloud Hospital ran a pilot program to test the effectiveness of continuous capnography monitoring Center for Surgical Care, PACU, surgical care units, interventional radiology, electrophysiology lab, and emergency trauma center.  The trial was successful, proving the monitors gave an early alert to the signs of respiratory distress, as well as resolving issues caused by nuisance alarms – particularly with patients experiencing sleep apnea or periods of hyperventilation.  As a result, continuous capnography monitoring was implemented hospital-wide. Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Opioid Deaths Are (Still) Preventable: Remembering Leah

Leah

Leah walked into a Los Angeles hospital a healthy, 11-year old girl.  She needed an elective surgery to repair a condition called pectus carinatum.  Despite delays, the surgery went well, but Leah was in considerable pain; to manage it, she was given escalating doses of fentanyl, along with Ativan.  

Her mother, Lenore Alexander, was concerned by Leah’s increasing unresponsiveness – but was assured by staff that Leah would be ready to walk out of the hospital in the morning.  Exhausted, Lenore took a nap by her daughter’s bedside; it would be the last time Leah was seen alive.  Lenore woke to find Leah dead in bed.

In 2012, Lenore wrote an article for PPAHS asking if continuous monitoring would have saved her daughter, Leah.  The answer, then, was a resounding “yes”.  During her hospital stay, Leah received only infrequent spot checks from staff to confirm her condition despite the administration of powerful opioids.  If only she were monitored with capnography and pulse oximetry – we would not have another tragic story to tell.

Now, on the 14th anniversary of Leah’s death, we ask the same question: would continous monitoring have saved Leah’s life?   Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Preventing Opioid-Related Adverse Events with Capnography

Patient Monitoring

This year, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System (SJ/C) celebrated 12 years free from opioid-related adverse events.  The PPAHS had the pleasure of interviewing Harold Oglesby, RRT, Manager to uncover the SJ/C team’s learnings in implementing the quality improvement project.

From the inception of the project, continuous electronic monitoring with capnography has been a cornerstone technology to keeping patients at SJ/C safe.  Mr. Oglesby and his team implemented a continuous monitoring program with capnography after identifying a need for reliable, early indication of patient decline in ventilation.  Since the initial pilot, the monitors have shown tangible results:

“There was a couple of ‘aha’ moments when we saw that capnography giving us, sometimes an hour earlier, [indication] of a patient that was getting into distress.”

Effective implementation is crucial whenever new technology is introduced in a clinical setting.  During our interview, Mr. Oglesby speaks to three key learnings to make continuous monitoring with capnography a success. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Respiratory Therapists Are Integral to Reducing Opioid-Related Adverse Events

Harold Oglesby - Celebrating 10 Years's Event Free

In a recent interview with Harold Oglesby, RRT, Manager, The Center for Pulmonary Health, Candler Hospital, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System (SJ/C), our discussion focused on the success factors that contributed to SJ/C’s 12 years free from opioid-related adverse events.

During the interview, Mr. Oglesby highlighted five key learnings from his experiences in implementing and continuously improving SJ/C’s QI initiative.  One of these learnings was the importance of involving Respiratory Therapists (RT) throughout the process. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

12 Years of Event-Free Opioid Use

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) recently interviewed Harold Oglesby RRT, Manager, The Center for Pulmonary Health, Candler Hospital, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System (SJ/C).  

Read More

Respiratory Compromise

New Guideline on Pre-Op Screening and Assessment for OSA

This article was first published in Patient Safety Solutions on October 11, 2016.  As part of our efforts to bring in expert viewpoints from across the #patientsafety community, we have reposted this with permission.

By Bradley T. Traux, MD

Our regular readers are well aware of the numerous controversies and limited evidence base regarding perioperative issues in patients with known obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or those suspected as being at high risk for OSA (see the list of prior columns at the end of today’s column).

The Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine has just published “Guidelines on Preoperative Screening and Assessment of Adult Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea”. This is a most thorough evaluation of the evidence base regarding multiple issues related to OSA in patients about to undergo surgery. One is struck by the lack of strong evidence for almost all the recommendations in the guideline, though we are not surprised since we’ve previously discussed most of the controversial issues. Yet this consensus guideline uses common sense and is very practical and appropriately balances concerns for patient safety with utilization of resources and concerns over timing of surgery.

Below is their executive summary of the recommendations: Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

3 Keys To Successfully Implementing Capnography

As a follow-up to our latest podcast interview with Thomas W. Frederickson, MD, FACP, SFHM, MBA – lead author of the Society of Hospital Medicine RADEO guide (“Reducing Adverse Drug Events Related to Opioids”) – we focused on the advantages and limitations of pulse oximetry in monitoring patients for opioid-induced respiratory depression.

Most importantly, Dr. Frederickson highlighted that the alerts provided by pulse oximetry can be a lagging indicator of patient ventilation, particularly when supplemental oxygen is administered.  One solution to improving the care provided to patients is to understand that pulse oximetry is one part of a comprehensive monitoring strategy. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Infograph: What Physicians Think About Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

We recently conducted an online survey to better understand what clinicians and the public think about how to solve the opioid epidemic. The survey was prompted by the recent letter sent by the Surgeon General to physicians in the US urging them to take a part in combating the opioid epidemic. On the Surgeon General website, healthcare providers are encouraged to help solve the opioid epidemic – “Our nation faces an opioid crisis. Health care providers are uniquely positioned to help communities and their patients #TurnTheTide on the opioid epidemic.

More than 85% of the survey respondents were either a doctor or other clinician.

Here are two preliminary results about they thought about what is the major cause of the opioid epidemic and who should take the lead in solving it (please note: these are preliminary results of the survey, so final results may differ from these preliminary findings): Read More