Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Open Letter for Patient Safety and Use of Continuous Electronic Monitoring

In the story, “Hypoxia After Surgery Much More Common Than Previously Believed — Study finds high rate of prolonged bouts of desaturation on wards” (Anesthesiology News, March), Daniel Sessler, MD (Michael Cudahy Professor & Chair, Department of Outcomes Research, The Cleveland Clinic; Director, Outcomes Research Consortium) who helped conduct the study, described its results as “sobering.” Read More

Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Ensuring child safety during common medical procedures

by Michael Wong

The safety of children could be at risk when they undergo common procedures involving sedation, such as for fracture reduction, laceration repair, and incision and drainage of an abscess.

As a recent study published in Pediatric Emergency Care found, 72% of the episodes of prolonged hypoxia were preceded by decreases in ETco2 as measured by capnography. This suggests that the use of capnography would enhance patient safety by decreasing the frequency of hypoxia during sedation in children. A capnograph is monitoring device that measures the concentration of carbon dioxide that a person breathes out in exhaled air and displays on a numerical readout and waveform tracing. (The capnograph used in this study was provided on loan by Nellcor Purtian Bennett, LLC, doing business as Covidien.) Read More