Use of Capnography in the Post-Operative and General Care Settings
ESA Academy. Academy E. 01/02/19; 256666
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Respiratory depression is a significant complication associated with the use of opioids for the management of pain. Each year, an estimated 12% to 58% of patients receiving patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) experience respiratory depression during therapy. This avoidable adverse event is often unrecognized, especially on the general care floor due to rapidly changing patient condition and the inadequacy of traditional monitoring approaches.

According to different studies, opiates can suppress respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure even at therapeutic doses. Therefore, the need for monitoring is critical. Multiple international organizations recommend pulse oximetry and/or capnography monitoring for patients who are receiving patient-controlled analgesia (PCA).
Several studies have suggested that using capnography monitoring, in addition to pulse oximetry, can improve care and patient safety.

​This module will provide the student with the knowledge needed to successfully implement capnography monitoring of patients receiving opioids and to interpret the information gained through monitoring. Specifically, they will learn about the risks associated with opioid therapy and how capnography monitoring can help to mitigate adverse events. In addition, they will learn how to interpret and respond to changes indicated by capnography
- Describe the risk factors associated with development of respiratory compromise in the post-operative and general care setting

- Identify the risks associated with intermittent respiratory monitoring

​- Identify current respiratory monitoring technology that may be used to detect respiratory compromise, and how it may be applied in clinical practice
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