UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Anesthesia and Analgesia | Anesthesiology | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | International Public Health


This research aims to evaluate the use of the noninvasive respiratory volume monitor (RVM) compared to the standard of care (SOC) in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) of Kijabe Hospital, Kenya. The RVM provides real-time measurements for quantitative monitoring of non-intubated patients. Our evaluation was focused on the incidence of postoperative opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD). The RVM cohort (N = 50) received quantitative OIRD assessment via the RVM, which included respiratory rate, minute ventilation, and tidal volume. The SOC cohort (N = 46) received qualitative OIRD assessment via patient monitoring with oxygenation measurements (SpO2) and physical examination. All diagnosed cases of OIRD were in the RVM cohort (9/50). In the RVM cohort, participants stayed longer in the PACU and required more frequent airway maneuvers and supplemental oxygen, compared to SOC (all p < 0.05). The SOC cohort may have had fewer diagnoses of OIRD due to the challenging task of distinguishing hypoventilation versus OIRD in the absence of quantitative data. To account for the higher OIRD risk with general anesthesia (GA), a subgroup analysis was performed for only participants who underwent GA, which showed similar results. The use of RVM for respiratory monitoring of OIRD may allow for more proactive care.


Respiratory volume monitor, post-anesthesia care unit, opioid-induced respiratory depression, respiratory monitoring, respiratory physiology, proactive care

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© 2020 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press International B.V. This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (

DOI of Published Version



Burdick KJ, Thuo MS, Feng XS, Shotwell MS, Schlesinger JJ. Evaluation of Noninvasive Respiratory Volume Monitoring in the PACU of a Low Resource Kenyan Hospital. J Epidemiol Glob Health. 2020 Sep;10(3):236-243. doi: 10.2991/jegh.k.200203.001. PMID: 32954715; PMCID: PMC7509096. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of epidemiology and global health

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License