Reducing Respiratory Compromise and Depression

In a special roundtable discussion hosted February 26-27, 2015 by the National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care (NAMDRC), healthcare leaders reviewed and discussed how to reduce the risk of respiratory compromise.

Respiratory compromise is the second-most frequently occurring preventable patient safety issue and causes higher mortality rates, longer hospital and ICU stays, and millions of healthcare dollars every single year. It is the third most rapidly increasing hospital inpatient cost in the United States. Respiratory compromise consists of respiratory insufficiency, compromise, distress, arrest, and failure.

Signaling that respiratory compromise is a critical patient safety issue and their support for reducing the risk of respiratory compromise, many key healthcare organizations were participated in the roundtable discussion:

  • American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
  • American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
  • American Thoracic Society (ATS)
  • National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care (NAMDRC)
  • Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS)
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM)

“Recognizing the signs of patient deterioration at the earliest possible moment allows for interventions that may be less complex and costly,” said Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety). “Patients like Amanda Abbiehl, Leah Coufal, John LaChance, and countless others may still be alive today had appropriate monitoring and therapies been applied.”

“We believe that the roundtable discussions have been constructive in helping to lay the groundwork for the development of beneficial tools and the research needed to make the changes necessary to save lives from respiratory compromise,” said Dennis E. Doherty, MD (immediate Past President, NAMDRC, Professor, University of Kentucky College of Medicine). “We look forward to working with the Physician-Patient Alliance and all roundtable organizations and attendees to advance our understanding of what needs to be done now and in the future for this critical patient safety issue.”

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