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Which of the following suggests your patient is experiencing opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD)?

a. Respiratory rate of 11 breaths/minute

b. Pulse oximetry (Spo2) of 92%

c. Oxygen saturation of 95%

d. End-tidal carbon dioxide (ETco2) of 26 mm Hg

Answer to Quiz Time:

d. OIRD usually manifests as a respiratory rate between eight and 10 breaths/minute, Spo2 below 90%, and ETco2 below 30 mm Hg or above 50 mm Hg. However, OIRD may occur outside these parameters.

Learn more by reading the continuing nursing education article “The case for capnography in patients receiving opioids.


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