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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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

4 Lessons Learned from the Death of Joan Rivers

By Kenneth P. Rothfield, M.D., M.B.A., Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology, Saint Agnes Hospital (Baltimore, MD), Lynn Razzano, RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety), and Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

It is often said that a death is meaningful if it serves as lessons for others to learn from and increase awareness so they “speak up” when found in a similar situation. So, what can be learned from the death of Joan Rivers? Read More

Alarm Fatigue

Three Tips For Decreasing Alarm Fatigue

Editor’s note – This article, “Three Tips For Decreasing Alarm Fatigue” is reprinted with the permission of Internal Medicine News and Hospitalist News, which publishes “news and views that matter to physicians”.

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

When patient monitor alarms sound too many times, this can discourage using the very monitors that are intended to keep patients safe and inform clinicians of a patient’s physiological state. However, research shows that using “smart alarm” technology and getting smart about alarm monitors can reduce clinically insignificant alarms. Read More