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SOURCE Piedmont Medical Center
Respiratory Monitoring Helps to Protect Patients on Pain Medication
ROCK HILL, S.C., Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Piedmont Medical Center recently strengthened patient safety measures by expanding its use of capnography to monitor patients using patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) to regulate their pain after surgery.
PCA can provide an effective way to control pain by allowing patients to self-administer small doses of pain medication intravenously, but the technology poses unique risks because the opioid medications used can also suppress the patient's breathing. The Joint Commission, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices all recommend that hospitals take special precautions including monitoring patients with capnography and oximetry.
Specifically, capnography measures how effectively patients are breathing by measuring exhaled carbon dioxide and can alert medical caregivers when life-threatening respiratory depression occurs. Capnography provides the earliest indication of evolving respiratory compromise, which can lead to significant morbidity or even cardiopulmonary arrest if undetected. Oximetry monitors the patient's blood oxygen levels ensuring that the patient is receiving enough oxygen.
Piedmont Medical Center is among the nation's leaders in the early implementation of capnography monitoring to protect patients using PCA. Long used in operating rooms to monitor patients under general anesthesia, hospitals are now deploying capnography after surgery, as well. Early indication of respiratory depression with capnography enables medical staff to intervene before serious adverse events happen.
"We are committed to providing the highest quality of care. Piedmont Medical Center's widespread use of capnography to monitor a patient's breathing is in line with the latest recommendations and underscores our dedication to patient safety," said Tom Curtis, RRT, Assistant Director of Cardiopulmonary.
"We commend Piedmont Medical Center for being part of a growing number of facilities across the country committed to patient safety through the use of capnography," said Matthew Anderson, Vice President and General Manager Respiratory & Monitoring Solutions, Covidien. "Its decision to monitor patients at risk of respiratory depression with capnography and oximetry ensures patients have a level of protection when using state-of-the-art pain management systems."
About Piedmont Medical Center
Piedmont Medical Center is a full service 288-bed hospital serving York, Lancaster and Chester counties. Piedmont has more than 325 physicians on staff, representing a broad range of 40 medical specialties. The hospital's main campus includes the Heart and Vascular Center, offering comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services, including an accredited Chest Pain center with PCI designation. This designation means Piedmont can provide emergency coronary interventions such as balloon angioplasty and stent placement. Piedmont has offered a heart surgery program to the community since 1997.
Piedmont provides emergency services; an accredited cancer program; endoscopy; a bariatric medicine program; women's services; and psychiatric services. The medical center has several outpatient facilities, including diagnostic services, Sleep Center and Wound Care Center. Piedmont is affiliated with Piedmont Physician Network, a network of primary and sub-specialty physician practices.
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