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ICU patient

Helping to reduce the risk of secondary complications and minimise inefficiencies

We recognise that you’re being asked to do far more with far less right now, and protecting health care providers with PPE continues to be our top priority. We’re also here to support you by helping to reduce the risk of secondary complications and minimise inefficiencies so that you can focus on what matters most – providing care to your patients.

Explore guidelines, best practices and resources to help reduce the risk of secondary complications and minimise inefficiencies in the following areas:

Clinician closely monitoring a patient
Effective ECG monitoring

Each day, a nurse can be prompted by as many as 700 alarms per patient day,¹ many of which are related to ECG monitoring. A significant proportion of ECG alarms are false or triggered by clinically insignificant events.²,³

  • Here are some quick tips to reduce the amount of time spent responding to and troubleshooting ECG alarms:

    • Clip excessive hair
    • Properly clean and dry the skin
    • Abrade the skin (for adult patients only) to reduce skin impedance and improve trace quality
    • When applying the electrode, activate the pressure sensitive adhesive
    • Evaluate alarm parameter settings
Clinician monitoring a patient with a catheter
Catheter-related complications

Every IV site presents the potential for infection, dislodgement, skin damage and other complications.

Caring for and maintaining IV lines

Securing critical tubes

  • In one study, 48.5% of patients had a nasogastric tube dislodgement.⁴ Review tools and resources to properly select and apply the right securement for the patient and application:

  • Critical Tube Securement Nasogastric Application video
    Critical Tube Securement Nasogastric Application
  • Critical Tube Securement Foley Platform Application video
    Critical Tube Securement Indwelling Urinary Catheter Platform Application
Clinician monitoring a patient with a pressure injury
Pressure injuries

Up to 41% of ICU patients may develop a pressure injury (PI), and most are developed within the first week of admission.⁵ When using prone positioning for patients, at-risk areas for PIs include medical device areas, face, knees, clavicles and pelvis.

  • Knowing how to properly assess and stage a PI, as outlined by the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP), is an important component in reducing patient/resident risk.

  • References

    1. Cvach MM, Biggs M, Rothwell KJ, Charles-Hudson C. Daily electrode change and effect on cardiac monitor alarms: an evidence-based practice approach. J Nurs Care Qual. 2013;28:265-271.
    2. Drew BJ, Harris P, Zegre-Hemsey JK, et al. Insights into the problem of alarm fatigue with physiologic monitor devices: a comprehensive observational study of consecutive intensive care unit patients. PloS One. 2014; 9(10): e110274.
    3. Bonafide CP, Localio AR, Holmes JH, et al. Video analysis of factors associated with response time to physiologic monitor alarms in a children’s hospital. JAMA Pediatr. 2017; 171(6): 524-531.
    4. Pancordo-Hidalgo, P., Garcia-Fernandez, F., Ramirez-Perez, C. (2001). Complications associated with enteral nutrition by nasogastric tube in an internal medicine unit. Journal of Clinical Nursing. Site accessed February 3, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2702.2001.00498.x
    5. Cox J, Roche, S and Murphy V. (2018). Pressure Injury Risk Factors in Critical Care Patients: A Descriptive Analysis. Adv Skin & Wound Car,. 31(7): 328-334.