US-based Des Peres Hospital has expanded its use of capnography respiratory monitoring in a bid to enhance patient safety.
The hospital has expanded its use of capnography to monitor patients using patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) to regulate their pain after surgery.
PCA allows patients to self-administer small doses of pain medication intravenously; however, the technology poses a risk as the medications used can also suppress the patient’s breathing.
According to the hospital, capnography monitors patients’ breathing by measuring exhaled carbon dioxide, and alerts medical caregivers when life-threatening respiratory depression occurs.
Capnography also provides the earliest indication of evolving respiratory compromise, which can result in significant morbidity or even cardiopulmonary arrest if undetected.
Des Peres Hospital chief nursing officer Mary Ann Hampton said: "Our widespread use of capnography to monitor a patient’s breathing is in line with the latest recommendations and underscores our dedication to patient safety."
Des Peres Hospital provides medical and surgical services, including geriatrics, cardiology, bariatrics (surgical weight loss management), orthopedics, wound care and emergency care.