Do You Know The Risk Factors?

Patient Factors

  • Age (very young or elderly)
  • History of cigarette/alcohol use
  • Comorbidities *
  • Usage/administration of central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs)
  • Requires airway protection
  • Does not understand the procedure, medications, risks or recovery process

Caregiver Factors

  • Communication barriers within the healthcare team
  • Alarm fatigue
  • Improper/insufficient education or training
  • Medication errors
  • Caregiver fatigue/illness

Early recognition of risk factors and continuous monitoring of oxygenation and ventilation are important steps in preventing respiratory compromise.

Procedural Factors

  • Recent long or complicated procedure requiring anesthesia, sedation or pain-relieving medications
  • Transfusion was required during a surgical procedure

Institutional Factors

  • Underfunding
  • Distant location of monitoring stations or equipment relative to staff and patients
  • Environmental factors (noise, lighting, temperature)
  • Lack of protocols for medication administration and patient monitoring
  • No “buy in”/belief from attending physicians
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* Comorbidities include cardiovascular, lung, liver, kidney or neuromuscular disease; cancer, diabetes, obesity, sepsis, organ dysfunction/failure; CNS injury or disease; chest cage dysfunction, sleep disordered breathing.