Read the passage and complete the task that goes with it. 

You can refer back to lesson on Identifying Main Idea 

To: All Staff

Subject: Advisory Email: Safe use of opioids

In August, an alert was issued on the safe use of opioids in hospitals. This reported the incidence of respiratory depression among post-surgical patients to an average 0.5% – thus for every 5,000 surgical patients, 25 will experience respiratory depression. Failure to recognise respiratory depression and institute timely intervention can lead to cardiopulmonary arrest, resulting in brain injury or death. A retrospective multi-centre study of 14,720 cardiopulmonary arrest cases showed that 44% were respiratory related and more than 35% occurred on the general care floor. It is therefore recommended that post-operative patients now have continuous monitoring, instead of spot checks, of both oxygenation and ventilation.


Transfer of patients


The critical care area transferring team and the receiving ward team should take shared responsibility for the care of the patient being transferred. They should jointly ensure that:

  • there is continuity of care through a formal structured handover from critical care area staff to ward staff (including both medical and nursing staff), supported by a written plan;
  • the receiving ward, with support from critical care if required, can deliver the agreed plan.


When patients are transferred to the general ward from a critical care area, they should be offered information about their condition and encouraged to actively participate in decisions that relate to their recovery. The information should be tailored to individual circumstances. If they agree, their family and carers should be involved.


Skip to toolbar