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Torrance Memorial Medical Center Boosts Patient Safety With Expanded Use Of Capnography Technology
Date:3/19/2013

TORRANCE, Calif., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Torrance Memorial Medical Center recently increased patient safety measures by expanding the use of capnography technology to monitor patients using patient controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps to regulate their pain, undergoing procedural sedation and in coronary care after surgery.

Capnography technology measures how effectively patients are breathing and can alert medical caregivers during an occurrence of life-threatening respiratory depression, which can lead to additional complications including cardiopulmonary arrest. By measuring the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) the patient is exhaling, capnography provides the earliest indication of respiratory depression, enabling medical staff to intervene before serious adverse events happen.

"Torrance Memorial is committed to protecting patient safety while providing the highest quality of care. Our widespread use of capnography to monitor patient respiration underscores this commitment," said Jennifer Stewart , CNS, Patient Safety Officer, Torrance Memorial Medical Center. "We gladly embrace the latest recommendations to provide our patients the safest experience possible."

Several medical associations recently have encouraged hospitals to make more widespread use of capnography technology to protect their patients. The Joint Commission, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices all recommend monitoring exhaled CO2 (i.e. the quality of ventilation) with capnography to detect respiratory depression, which can be life threatening for patients on PCA pumps. These pumps have proven effective in controlling pain and allowing patients to be discharged from the hospital more quickly. However, because the pumps inject micro-doses of narcotics, the technology poses unique risks for patients, accordin
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SOURCE Torrance Memorial Medical Center
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