UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

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Document Type



Anesthesia and Analgesia | Nursing | Patient Safety


Background: Unintended overdoses of opiate medications are potentially lethal events. Monitoring patients for oversedation is fundamental to ensuring safe use of opiates, and the timing of this evaluation is guided by the onset of action, time to max effect and duration of action of the opiate. The study's aim was to describe the timing of oversedation in relation to the predicted duration of action of the administered opiate.

Methods: This study was conducted as a retrospective review of all opiate-related oversedation events during a 2-year period involving patients admitted to an urban teaching hospital.

Results: Of the 53 opiate-related oversedation events evaluated, 47% occurred after the predicted maximal duration of action of the administered opiate.

Conclusion: Opiate-induced oversedation routinely occurs after predicted based upon duration of action. The study findings have profound implications upon nursing practice regarding duration of time required to monitor for opiate-induced oversedation.


Opiate, Oversedation, Patient safety

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© The authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Garrett JS, Vanston A, Nguyen HL, Cassity C, Straza A. Timing of Oversedation Events Following Opiate Administration in Hospitalized Patients. J Clin Med Res. 2021 May;13(5):304-308. doi: 10.14740/jocmr4498. Epub 2021 May 25. PMID: 34104282; PMCID: PMC8166287. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of clinical medicine research

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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