Failure to effectively monitor postoperative patients for opioid-induced respiratory depression can lead to brain injury or death.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: thedoctorweighsin.com
Post-operatively, most patients require opioids such as Fentanyl and morphine for adequate pain relief. Coupled with anesthesia medications given during surgery, additional opioids can place a patient at risk for decreased respirations, which can, in turn, result in insufficient oxygenation of vital organs such as the brain and heart. Machines are available to monitor oxygenation, but nothing takes the place of a diligent nurse’s monitoring and prudent administration of pain medication post-operatively.