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ISMP Patient Safety Alert! Acute care edition. May 18, 2023;28(10);1-3.
This Spotlight Case highlights two cases of falls in older patients in nursing homes. The commentary discusses how risk factors for falls should be considered in care planning and approaches to fall prevention in long-term care settings.
Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch. March 2023.
This patient with recently diagnosed adenocarcinoma of the esophagus underwent esophagoscopy with endoscopic ultrasound, which was complicated by thoracic esophageal perforation. The perforation was endoscopically closed during the procedure. However, there was a lack of clear communication regarding the operator’s confidence in the success of endoscopic closure and their recommendations for the modality and timing of follow-up imaging, which ultimately led to significant delays in patient care.
A 48-year-old obese man with a history of obstructive sleep apnea was placed under general anesthesia for corneal surgery. On completion of the operation, the patient was transferred to a motorized gurney to extubate him in a sitting position because the operating room (OR) table was too narrow. However, while the team was moving him from the OR table to the gurney, a nurse inadvertently pulled on the anesthetic machine hoses. The endotracheal tube became dislodged and the patient could not be ventilated.
Improving non-technical skills - such as teamwork and communication – is essential to safe delivery of healthcare but implementing successful training programs has been challenging.
During a time of unprecedented patient volume and clinical uncertainty, a diverse team of health system administrators and clinicians within the University of Pennsylvania Health System quickly investigated, updated, and disseminated airway management protocols after several airway safety incidents occurred among COVID-19 patients who were mechanically ventilated. Based on this experience, the team created the I-READI framework as a guide for healthcare systems to prepare for and quickly respond to quality and safety crises.1
A 72-year-old man was diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia and ileus, and admitted to a specialized COVID care unit. A nasogastric tube (NGT) was placed, supplemental oxygen was provided, and oral feedings were withheld. Early in his hospital stay, the patient developed hyperactive delirium and pulled out his NGT. Haloperidol was ordered for use as needed (“prn”) and the nurse was asked to replace the NGT and confirm placement by X-ray. The bedside and charge nurses had difficulty placing the NGT and the X-ray confirmation was not done.