University of Kentucky

Poster Title

STUDY 2: Safety Practices Used by Critical Care Nurses in the Care of Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilation

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Daily around 12,000 patients receive mechanical ventilation in US hospitals. Since January 2002, there have been 23 reports of injury due to mechanical ventilator adverse events; death was the ultimate consequence in 83% of these cases. The appropriate use of ventilator safety protocols may reduce patient risk for injury or death. There are no studies that describe ventilator safety practices used by critical care nurses. Purpose: To describe critical care nurses’ safety practices in the care of patients who require mechanical ventilation. Methods A random sample of critical care nurses (n = 793) from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses completed the Mechanical Ventilation Survey. Most respondents were Caucasian (78%) females (88%) aged 46 ± 9 years, employed in a community hospital (74%) with 17 ± 9 years of critical care experience. Results: A majority of respondents reported a lack of attention to ventilator safety that included absence of a policy to identify alarm ranges and nursing response to alarms, absence of criteria to establish ventilator alarms and criteria for alarm range changes with changing patient condition. Respondents reported that they consider that one third of ventilator alarms are false alarms. Although a majority reported use of a sedation protocol, restraints were used more than half the time with ventilated patients. Conclusions: Critical care nurses frequently employ sedation and physical restraint to increase patient safety; however, there is little attention to the use of ventilator alarms as a means to improve patient safety.

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STUDY 2: Safety Practices Used by Critical Care Nurses in the Care of Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilation

Daily around 12,000 patients receive mechanical ventilation in US hospitals. Since January 2002, there have been 23 reports of injury due to mechanical ventilator adverse events; death was the ultimate consequence in 83% of these cases. The appropriate use of ventilator safety protocols may reduce patient risk for injury or death. There are no studies that describe ventilator safety practices used by critical care nurses. Purpose: To describe critical care nurses’ safety practices in the care of patients who require mechanical ventilation. Methods A random sample of critical care nurses (n = 793) from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses completed the Mechanical Ventilation Survey. Most respondents were Caucasian (78%) females (88%) aged 46 ± 9 years, employed in a community hospital (74%) with 17 ± 9 years of critical care experience. Results: A majority of respondents reported a lack of attention to ventilator safety that included absence of a policy to identify alarm ranges and nursing response to alarms, absence of criteria to establish ventilator alarms and criteria for alarm range changes with changing patient condition. Respondents reported that they consider that one third of ventilator alarms are false alarms. Although a majority reported use of a sedation protocol, restraints were used more than half the time with ventilated patients. Conclusions: Critical care nurses frequently employ sedation and physical restraint to increase patient safety; however, there is little attention to the use of ventilator alarms as a means to improve patient safety.