Medication safety committees regularly review medication errors and near misses. During one such review, the med safety committee at one hospital recognized issues with the way opioids were being ordered via the patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps, including the availability of multiple concentrations of drugs which could be administered in the wrong amount to a patient.
Just as reporting adverse events helps improve patient safety, reporting workplace incidents that have harmed or had the potential to harm employees can inspire change to protect healthcare staff as well as patients and visitors.
Opioid use results in decreased respiratory rate, low oxygen saturation, and sedation, a condition known as opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD), which may result in serious harm—including death or brain damage.