Doylestown Hospital Expands Use of Capnography Technology

Respiratory Monitoring Increases Patient Safety Post-Surgery

Jan 09, 2013, 09:30 ET from Doylestown Hospital

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Doylestown Hospital recently expanded the use of capnography beyond the operating room for respiratory monitoring. The facility is part of a growing cadre of hospitals across the country using capnography to give an early alert to medical caregivers of episodes of insufficient ventilation in a number of new clinical situations where previously it was rarely, if ever, utilized.

Post surgery, patients who are given opioids such as morphine may experience undetected respiratory depression during which breathing slows and carbon dioxide accumulates which can lead to significant morbidity or even cardiopulmonary arrest. Likewise, patients undergoing procedures under moderate to deep sedation have a similar potential for adverse respiratory events.

Capnography is an extra tool to measure how effectively a patient is breathing. The monitoring of ventilation indicates whether respiratory depression may have occurred. Capnography is an extra tool to measure how effectively a patient is breathing. The monitoring of ventilation indicates whether respiratory depression is occurring.  With capnography and oximetry, Doylestown Hospital has a continuous, complete picture of the patients' ventilation and oxygenation status. 

"Doylestown Hospital has been among the institutions at the forefront of the initiative to enhance patient safety for those undergoing procedures with moderate to deep sedation as well as post-operative patients receiving intravenous narcotics," says Doylestown Hospital anesthesiologist Robert O'Connor, MD, a physician champion of the use of capnography. Dr. O'Connor, who serves on the hospital's Patient Safety Committee and Acute Care Committee, explains that the hospital is following the most recent recommendations from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, which supports the use of capnography for certain populations of patients outside of the operating room. To that end, Doylestown Hospital has expanded capnography to the Gastrointestinal Suite (and the Emergency Room and Cardiac Catheterization Lab), for patients receiving intravenous narcotics and for patients with morbid obesity or obstructive sleep apnea.

"Capnography outside the OR is just one example of many where measures have been critically assessed, researched then incorporated into optimizing the care of our Doylestown Hospital patients," adds Dr. O'Connor. 

Early indication of respiratory depression with capnography enables medical staff to intervene before serious adverse events happen. The Joint Commission and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices recommend the monitoring of exhaled CO2 to detect respiratory depression to increase patient safety with pain medication administration.

"Our continuous electronic monitoring program using capnography underscores our dedication to patient safety," says Chief Medical Officer Scott Levy, MD. "Our hospital is committed to ensuring patient safety while providing the highest quality of care."

Doylestown Hospital uses capnography equipment from Oridion, now a part of Covidien, a leading global provider of healthcare products and recognized innovator in patient monitoring and respiratory care devices.  "We commend Doylestown Hospital for being part of a growing number of facilities across the country committed to improved patient safety through the use of capnography," says Robert J. White, President, Respiratory & Monitoring Systems, Covidien.

About Doylestown Hospital
Doylestown Hospital is a comprehensive 238-bed medical center serving families throughout Bucks and Montgomery Counties and Western New Jersey. Doylestown Hospital's Medical Staff includes more than 420 physicians in more than 40 specialty areas. Doylestown Hospital is one of the 100 best hospitals in the U.S., according to the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals® study released in 2012.

The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital is a regional center of excellence for cardiology and cardiac surgery and was named one of the Top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation (Thomson Reuters 2012). Other areas of clinical emphasis include oncology, emergency medicine, maternal-child health, orthopedics, interventional radiology, gastroenterology, urology, general surgery and robotic surgery.

For a comprehensive list of Doylestown Hospital's programs and services, and for the latest information on classes, events and hospital news, please visit our website –

SOURCE Doylestown Hospital