Capnography, PCA, Post-Operative Monitoring

PPAHS Speaks at A Promise to Amanda Foundation Fundraiser

by Sean Power
August 21, 2013

On behalf of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health and Safety I would like to congratulate A Promise to Amanda Foundation on a successful fundraiser and awareness campaign.

I would also like to thank Brian and Cindy Abbiehl for inviting PPAHS to speak about the four essentials for safety. The Physician-Patient Alliance hopes that the nearly 400 audience members will share with their doctors and nurses the four essentials for safety while using patient-controlled analgesia pain pumps (PCA):

  1. Ensure patients/families are provided information on proper use of the PCA pump, so they understand
    1. Pump delivers a powerful narcotic
    2. No PCA by proxy
  2. Make sure patients/families understand why they must be monitored for safety reasons:
    1. Oximetry clip on finger
    2. Capnography cannula on nose
  3. Save yourself some trouble and educate patients and families about monitor readouts.
  4. Educate patients why alarms sound and what to do when they do sound.

As promised, I’ve made these slides available on the PPAHS website for download in PDF format here.

The Physician-Patient Alliance is excited by the progress on PCA safety and we hope Amanda’s friends, family, and the South Bend community will join us in making a #promise to Amanda. As Dr. Cheryl Wibbens, Chief Medical Officer at Memorial Hospital in South Bend has stated:

“Monitoring patients for how much carbon dioxide they are breathing out with capnography provides us with the earliest possible indicator to detect the onset of opioid-induced respiratory depression.”

Memorial Hospital joins many hospitals across the country now monitoring with capnography – for some of these hospitals, please view this interactive map.

As Dr. Wibbens further explains:

“Every patient at Memorial that has opioids is a little safer now. Continuously electronically monitoring with capnography will save lives.”

The motto of A Promise to Amanda Foundation is “Capnography saves lives”. Let’s make it a priority at hospitals across the country to save lives.

The lines of communication between healthcare professionals and their patients need to be open for safety to become a priority. These slides can help break the ice for the conversation about patient safety.

Please give these slides to your doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists and make sure they know that your safety is important. You can play a central role in your own safety. Insist that your healthcare team follows these four essentials the next time you or a loved one are treated with PCA.

To view the local NBC affiliate’s coverage of the event, please click here.

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