Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Monitoring Technology for PCA Pumps Can Prevent Adverse Events with Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA): So Why Are Hospitals Not Using It?

By Michael Wong

(This article has also been published in SurgiStrategies, which can be read here.)

According to its newly-updated, “How-to Guide: Prevent Harm from High-Alert Medication”, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) looked at high-alert medications, which are “more likely than other medications to be associated with harm”.

One of the areas that the IHI singles out is narcotics. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Errors with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA): just the tip of the iceberg

Reported errors with patient-controlled analgesia – estimated at between 600,000 to 2 million PCA errors each year – are just the tip of the iceberg.

by Michael Wong

Many readers emailed studies, suggestions, and comments regarding the estimate of 600,000 to 2 million PCA errors each year. These readers not only indicated the magnitude of the problem, but also a way to detect respiratory depression. Here are these further studies and thoughts. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

How often do errors with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) occur?

by Michael Wong

Many readers of this website have asked, how often do errors with patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) occur?

In a retrospective analysis lead by Rodney Hicks (who at the time of the study was Manager, Patient Safety Research and Practice, United States Pharmacopeia), the magnitude, frequency, and nature of non-harmful and harmful medication errors associated with PCA were studied. (Professor Hicks is now Professor, Western University College of Graduate Nursing, Pomona, California). Read More