Continuous Pulse Oximetry and Capnography Monitoring for Postoperative Respiratory Depression and Adverse Events: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

The American Patient Safety Foundation has called for continuous electronic monitoring for all patients receiving opioids in the postoperative period. This study evaluated the effectiveness of continuous capnography monitoring, pulse oximetry and intermittent  nursing checks  for detecting postoperative respiratory depression (PORD) and preventing postoperative adverse events in the surgical ward. The use of continuous pulse oximetry on the surgical ward is associated with significant improvement in the detection of oxygen desaturation versus intermittent nursing spot-checks. The results also pointed out that capnography provides an early warning of PORD before oxygen desaturation, especially when supplemental oxygen is administered.