Medtronic Study Finds Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression in the Hospital More Common and Costly

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The study, which analyzed 1,335 patients across 16 sites in the United States, Europe and Asia, found that respiratory depression, as defined by changes in pulse oximetry and capnography monitoring parameters, occurred in 46% of medical and surgical patients evaluated who were receiving IV opioids for pain. This incidence rate is significantly higher than previously reported in clinical literature.1 The complete study results are published online in Anesthesia and Analgesia1, the official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

“PRODIGY data confirms that respiratory depression in patients receiving parenteral opioids occur frequently and are potentially unknown to hospital healthcare providers,” said Ashish K. Khanna, M.D., primary study investigator and an associate professor of Anesthesiology, section head for Research and intensivist at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. “Together with risk assessment using the PRODIGY Risk Score, the use of capnography and oximetry for continuous monitoring of patients identified as high risk for respiratory depression may increase safety when parenteral opioid analgesia cannot be avoided.”
Currently, there are no universally accepted guidelines to direct effective and safe assessment and monitoring practices for patients receiving in-hospital opioid analgesia.2 In addition to providing insight into the rate of respiratory depression, a key objective of …

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