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Advocates join Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation's call for 'paradigm shift' in how nation's hospitals treat patients receiving opioids

All patients receiving opioids to manage pain after surgery should be continuously monitored, leaders of APSF, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety and Leah's Legacy agree

CHICAGO, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) and Leah's Legacy say they fully support the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation's (APSF) call for the nation's hospitals to continuously monitor all patients receiving opioids to manage their pain after surgery.

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"It's time for a change in how we monitor postoperative patients receiving opioids. We need a complete paradigm shift in how we approach safer care for postoperative patients receiving opioids," APSF President Dr. Robert Stoelting states in a recently released video that highlights the APSF-sponsored conference, "Opioid-Induced Ventilatory Impairment (OIVI): Time for a change in the Monitoring Strategy for Postoperative PCA Patients."

In the APSF video, Dr. Stoelting and other renowned experts on anesthesiology, pain management and patient issues concur that continuous electronic monitoring of patients' oxygenation and ventilation, when combined with traditional nursing assessment and vigilance, significantly reduces the likelihood of life-threatening, opioid-induced respiratory depression and other adverse events.

"The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety welcomes the groundbreaking – and ultimately, life-saving – viewpoint of the APSF," said PPAHS Founder and Executive Director Michael Wong.  "This is especially heartwarming because continuous electronic monitoring is a patient-safety issue that PPAHS has championed for years."

Leah's Legacy Founder and Executive Lenore Alexander joined Mr. Wong in saluting the APSF.

"The call by the APSF for universal post-op monitoring represents a major milestone for Leah's Legacy in our ongoing endeavor to achieve zero preventable deaths from medical error and to make continuous postoperative monitoring the law," said Ms. Alexander, who founded the non-profit Leah's Legacy as a tribute to her 11-year old daughter, who died of undetected opioid-induced respiratory depression while recovering from elective surgery.

About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety

Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is an advocacy group whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve health care delivery. For more information, please go to www.ppahs.org

SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety

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