Patient Safety

Patient Safety Advocate, Debbie Fox, Passes Away at 61

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is saddened to hear of the passing of Debbie Fox MBA, RRT-NPS (formerly Director, Respiratory Therapy, Wesley Medical Center).

Ms. Fox served on PPAHS’s board of advisors. She had retired from Wesley Medical Center and from the PPAHS board to take care of personal affairs. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Hypoxemia in the PACU: Most Episodes Occur After 30 Minutes from Admission

By Sean Power, Community Manager, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety

Is reliance on pulse oximetry to detect hypoxemia related to opioid-induced respiratory depression the best practice to identify patients at risk?

Toby N Weingarten, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, raises this question by calling attention to an analysis by Epstein et. al.,[1] which found that, contrary to expectations, most episodes of hypoxemia—abnormally low concentrations of oxygen in the blood—take place after 30 minutes from admission to the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). He notes that the administration of opioids was greater in patients who experienced hypoxemia than those who did not.

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Alarm Fatigue, Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Adverse Drug Events Discussed at California Hospital Engagement Network

by Sean Power

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety recently participated in a webinar hosted through the California Hospital Engagement Network, an organization that brings together hospitals to reduce patient harm by 40% and readmissions by 20% by the end of 2013.

The panel discussion looked at patient stories and best practices for preventing opioid related adverse events. The panelists included: Read More

Respiratory Compromise

Respiratory Therapy Magazine Highlights Flawed Monitoring Practices, Features PPAHS Article on Opioid Safety

by Sean Power

Volume 8 Number 1 February-March 2013 of Respiratory Therapy Magazine features an article by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety that summarizes the points of view of four experts. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Addressing The Joint Commission Opioid Warnings: A Case Study from Wesley Medical Center on Reducing Respiratory Depression and Improving Patient Safety

By Sean Power and Michael Wong

(This article first appeared in Becker’s Clinical Quality & Infection Control.)

Respiratory depression has been associated with the use of opioid analgesics. However, a recent study by researchers at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kan., suggests exhaled CO2 monitoring of patients using patient-controlled analgesia pumps could help reduce the occurrence of this adverse event. Specifically, Debra Fox, MBA, RRT-NPS, and Mark Wencel, MD, examined respiratory depression rates with the use of PCA pumps and intermittent IV opioids for pain management. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Health Experts Discuss Four Flawed Monitoring Practices

by Sean Power

Recently four health experts participated in a webinar on The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert on the safe use of opioids. On the panel were patient safety experts including Dr. Frank Overdyk, Professor of Anesthesiology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine; Ray Maddox, Director of Clinical Pharmacy, Research and Pulmonary Medicine at St. Joseph Candler; Tammy Haslar, Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Franciscan Alliance at St. Francis Health, and Debbie Fox, Director of Respiratory Care at Wesley Medical Center.

The panel discussed the role of continuous monitoring in opioid safety. To watch the entire webinar, please click here. Read More