The Promise to Amanda Foundation is calling on all healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, policymakers, patients, and family members to achieve zero preventable deaths for patients using patient controlled analgesia pumps to manage pain.

The Risks of Pain Pumps

  • The anesthesia used after surgery can cause undetected respiratory depression.
  • Unnoticed, respiratory depression leads to cardiopulmonary arrest. In other words, the heart fails to contract effectively and slows or stops the circulation of blood.
  • Cardiopulmonary arrest prevents the delivery of oxygen to the body and can result in death.

The simple solution is to ensure respiratory depression never goes unnoticed.

Capnography Saves Lives

  • Capnographs and pulse oximeters are two devices that monitor the breathing process.
  • Continuous electronic monitoring notifies nursing staff when respiratory depression takes place as early as possible.
  • Each preventable adverse event costs about $8,750. Studies show that hospitals can afford capnography from the cost savings alone.
  • Most professionals agree that bedside monitoring with capnography saves lives.

Take Action

Now is the time to act.

What nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists can do:

  1. Encourage patients and families to share their experiences with respiratory monitoring equipment. The Promise to Amanda Foundation is looking for stories with positive outcomes because of capnography. We’re also recommending health care professionals share their experiences that resulted in negative patient outcomes, for the only way to see effective policy change is to look at the whole picture, even if its hard to re-live some horrible experiences.
  2. Promise to talk to decision makers about capnography every chance you get. Make it public. Use the #promise hashtag in social media. Encourage others to make a #promise to victims of inadequate monitoring.

What hospital administrators can do:

  1. Build redundancies into the system. Some argue that the problem with PCA pumps isn’t monitoring but in medical errors being committed. Some argue that for this reason continuous electronic monitoring is unnecessary. Build in redundancies anyway. Mistakes are going to be made but adverse events are preventable. Monitor every patient and save lives. Today.
  2. Tell us if your hospital monitors patients with capnography while they are connected to patient-controlled analgesia pumps. The Promise to Amanda Foundation has compiled a map of hospitals that monitor that will inform patients about which hospitals do the best job of keeping them safe as they recover from surgery. Telling us about your monitoring program is the first step to get plotted on the map.

What patients and families can do:

  1. Come forward to share your story about capnography. If you’ve been adversely affected by a failure to monitor, our hearts reach out to you. Please share your story. Doing so will illuminate the facts of the case that we need to make continuous electronic monitoring of all patients on pain pumps a reality. If you had a great experience because your hospital monitored you with capnography, share your story. People need to know about those stories, too.
  2. Write, phone, or email your local congressperson about making zero preventable deaths a policy priority.

Safer patient care is within our reach. Capnography saves lives. Make a #Promise to Amanda today and change the way your hospital works.