The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1995 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Effect Of Education On Inappropriate Arterial Blood Gas Acquisition In A Surgical ICU

John Sestito, BA, RRT, Michael Santoro, BS, RRT, Lynda Gradwell, MS,RRT, Harold Palevsky, M.D., David Shulkin, M.D., Susan Craemer, RRT, John Hansen-Flaschen,M.D. University of Pennsylvania Health System, Phila., Pa.

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an educational intervention conducted by respiratory therapists, nurses, physicians and administrators. The intervention included the formulation and publication of clinical guidelines,discussion of these protocols at staff meetings and incorporation of new practices into unit and hospital CQI programs.

Methods: Clinical guidelines were formulated for arterial blood gas sampling by a multidisciplinary committee. Guidelines were disseminated throughout the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) and subsequent staff meetings were held to discuss these guidelines. Indications for obtaining ABG's in the SICU for a one week time before and after intervention.

Results: A total of 596 ABG's were acquired during the study period. Data was compared for the periods pre and post implementation of guidelines.

CONCLUSION: With the implementation of arterial blood gas guidlines, changes have been observed that suggest that the educational intervention has had a direct impact on decrease use of arterial blood gases for routines assessment. After implementation of guidelines, this technology is being utilized for more appropriate indications.


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