Alarm Fatigue

3 Questions to Ask About Post-Operative Care

by Mario Cattabiani (Director of Communications at Ross Feller Casey, LLP in Philadelphia)

Surgery can be a scary thing for any patient. Whether it is a minor procedure or life-saving necessity, all types of surgical procedures come with some degree of risk. To help ease your fears, it is a natural reaction to want to learn about everything that is going to happen during the procedure. You probably want to find out exactly what you need to do beforehand, what type of procedure is planned, who will be performing it, what the recovery will be like and when will you be able to go home. While all of these concerns and questions are completely valid, an important aspect of the process is left out.

Did you know that the first few hours after a surgical procedure are often just as risky as the actual operation? Just because you make it out of the operating room does not necessarily mean that you are in the clear just yet. While that can be a terrifying thought to come to grips with, it is the reality. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Dentistry and Death: More Laws or More Education?

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

Editor’s Note: Last week, we asked whether the use of birth control is a patient safety risk because of possible development of blood clots. In this post, the question is – do we need more laws or more education to help prevent anesthesia-related deaths in dental procedures and oral surgery.

Most people would not associate dentistry with death – discomfort perhaps – but not death.

However, the death of Caleb Sears forces us to consider the possibility of death in dentistry – or, more accurately, oral surgery:

Caleb Sears was a healthy six-year-old living in the Bay Area. He was in his first year of elementary school and just starting to read and write. He loved playing with his little sister, climbing trees, singing Les Miserables, and making up funny stories about llamas and time machines. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Making the Case for Maximum Alarm Management and Prevention of Alarm Fatigue

By Lynn Razzano, RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant)

17-year old Mariah Edwards went in for a procedure that is performed countless times each year – a tonsillectomy. Recovering after the successful and very routine procedure, she was administered a dose of fentanyl to manage her pain. Although she was monitored continuously electronically, one of the attending nurses admitted on discovery that the monitor was muted for sound.

The settlement: $6 million. But, what really is $6 million to the parents of Mariah Edwards who have lost a child? What is the emotional toll to her nurses and other caregivers? Read More

Alarm Fatigue

Three Lessons Learned to Reduce Alarm Fatigue and Improve Alarm Management in Hospitals

Three lessons learned about alarm fatigue and better alarm management – (1) to reduce alarms turn to John Hopkins research, (2) patient surveillance monitoring improves patient safety, (3) reducing leads can reduce alarms by 22%.

According to The Joint Commission, alarm fatigue occurs when clinicians become desensitized or immune to the sound of an alarm. Fatigued clinicians may:

  • Turn down alarm volume
  • Turn off alarm
  • Adjust alarm settings.

Any of these actions may jeopardize patient safety. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Recent Death of 17-Year Old From Unmonitored Tonsillectomy Should Never Have Happened

In Willow Grove, PA, 17-year old Mariah Edwards went into a surgical center to remove her tonsils and died.

ABC News recently reported that the outpatient tonsillectomy was a success. Following the procedure she was moved to a recovery room. In the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Edwards family, it provides that nurses administered a dose of the painkiller fentanyl, a potent, synthetic narcotic analgesic with a rapid onset and short duration of action. Read More