One of the biggest patient safety risks facing hospitals today in is respiratory depression – especially associated with patients receiving opioids for pain management, typically post-surgically. The Joint Commission, AAMI Foundation, ECRI Institute and Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation have all identified this issue as requiring special focus to prevent patient harm. More than half of medication-related deaths and 20,000 incidences of respiratory depression-related interventions annually are attributed to the delivery of opioids in a care setting—and at a cost of approximately $2 billion per year to the U.S. healthcare system.

The potential tragedy associated with unaddressed respiratory depression is even gaining awareness in the general media, with television news reports airing about patients found “dead in bed” ( While many hospitals are looking to or have already implemented bedside monitoring of pulse oximetry and/or capnography for patients at risk of respiratory depression, these stand-alone devices are prone to excessive false or non-actionable alarms that can cause alarm fatigue and may not be able to communicate alarms to clinicians outside of the patient room.


Our real-time system for patient safety overcomes the challenges associated with respiratory depression surveillance by:

  • Connecting to your existing pulse oximeters and capnographs, even from multiple vendors
  • Provides centralized monitoring of patients at risk or respiratory depression
  • Uses exclusive multi-variable analytics – set by the hospital – to identify clinically actionable events
  • Integrates with mobile clinical communications systems to deliver the right alarm to the right clinician


In a recent clinical study1 of patients diagnosed or suspected to have Obstructive or Central Sleep Apnea (to be published in the Journal of Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology), the use of Bernoulli’s RDSS analytics with multi-variable thresholds had a big impact on patient safety and reducing the risk of alarm fatigue:


  1. Continuous Surveillance of Sleep Apnea Patients in a Medical-Surgical Unit, BI&T, May/June 2017 (accepted for publication)

Additional Resources on the Risk of Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression

For More Information on Bernoulli’s Respiratory Depression Safety Surveillance fill out the form on our contact page and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.


Please feel free to download the article on RDSS or visit our online resource center to access additional resources …