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Preventing Respiratory Arrest: Tool Kit Available

Monitoring of patients at risk for respiratory depression provides for early recognition and intervention, reducing respiratory arrests and deaths. The Hospital Quality Institute, in collaboration with a broad-based multidisciplinary group, has developed the Reducing Harm from Respiratory Depression in Non-ICU Patients tool kit providing evidence-based recommendations for risk assessment and monitoring of these patients.

This tool kit is primarily designed for frontline providers, as a source for key guidelines and decision-support tools to help risk assessment and risk mitigation related to respiratory depression in patients older than 14 years. It is available in PDF format and, for use on smart phones as a web app.

The tool kit includes guidance on all phases of this process:

  1. Assess and identify risk.
  2. Implement care plan.
  3. Select respiratory monitoring methods.
  4. Patient and family engagement.
  5. Monitor.
  6. Intervene for abnormalities.
  7. Document, communicate and evaluate.

CHPSO recommends that all organizations review this document for applicability to their setting and review their current methods of identifying and protecting patients at risk for respiratory depression.