Must Reads

3 Ideas to Improve Patient Care Articles PPAHS have been reading the week of August 16, 2019

This week, the articles that we have been reading at the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) discuss interesting ideas to improve patient care:

Use Artificial Intelligence to Manage Opioid Use

As the opioid crisis continues on, this article by Cami Rosso, “Using AI to Manage Opioid Use in Hospital ICUs” raises an interesting possibility – the use of artificial intelligence to manage opioid use:

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Was Gary Bougie’s Post-op Gallbladder Surgery Death Preventable?

Fox 9 News recently reported on the death of Gary Bougie following routine gall bladder surgery:

Gary Bougie was two months shy of his 36th birthday when he died nearly two years ago. His family suspects he died from a condition called opioid-induced respiratory depression after going to the hospital for gallbladder surgery and they want to warn other families about how to possibly avoid a tragedy like this

Bougie had just opened his new restaurant when he went to United Hospital for surgery to remove his gallbladder back in April of 2014. He stayed overnight for observation, but his parents say learning the next morning he’d passed away from complications during the night was surreal.

While the medical examiner ruled there was no anatomical cause for Bougie’s death, his family believes the mix of pain meds he was on caused him to fall into such a deep sleep, he stopped breathing. They are suing the hospital. Their attorney says even though nurses checked on Bougie once an hour, they should have used a fingertip sensor that would have alerted them when the level of oxygen in his blood went too low. Read More

Must Reads

Death After Surgery – Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety (Dec 11, 2015)

A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine concludes that there are too many patient deaths within 30 days of major surgery and many of these are preventable.

Dr. P.J. Devereaux, principal investigator, observes:

Almost no one now dies in the operating room or recovery room, but after surgery there is still an appreciable death rate.

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Assessing Surgical Patients for Risk of Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression

If patients going into surgery were assessed for the risk of opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD), how many adverse events and death would be prevented?

Would such an assessment have placed in the at risk category patients like John Lachance (who underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff) or Leah Coufal (who had elective surgery to repair a condition called pectus carinatum)?

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