Medtronic has reported preliminary results from the Microstream Capnography Study that provided an easy-to-use risk prediction tool for opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD).

OIRD is a breathing disorder which results in slow and ineffective breathing. It can be fatal.

Referred to as PRODIGY, the Medtronic-sponsored, prospective, multi-centre study allowed investigators to develop a risk assessment scoring tool called “the PRODIGY score”, which can identify people receiving opioid medication who are who be considered to be at high risk of developing the condition.

Medtronic Microstream and Nellcor monitoring technology were used to capture continuous capnography and pulse oximetry data during the study.

“Medtronic said that the risk assessment score was able to identify 76% of patients with confirmed respiratory depression.”

Results showed that that more than 40% of patients on the general care floor experienced OIRD, which is said to be significantly higher than previously reported in clinical literature.

The study was intended to create and validate the PRODIGY score, which has been developed using variables such as age, gender, sleep disorders, chronic heart failure and opioid naïvety.

Medtronic said that the risk assessment score was able to identify 76% of patients with confirmed respiratory depression.

Medtronic Respiratory, Gastrointestinal & Informatics business senior vice-president and president Vafa Jamali said: “We are encouraged by the data demonstrating the use of the PRODIGY OIRD risk prediction tool. It can help clinicians prioritise resources by identifying those patients at highest risk on the general care floor who should be continuously monitored with capnography and pulse oximetry.”

The study enrolled 1,496 patients at 16 sites across the US, Europe and Asia.

All patients experiencing OIRD events during the study were reviewed and confirmed by an independent clinical event committee.

Primary study investigator Ashish Khanna said: “These data validate an easy-to-use OIRD risk prediction tool to identify patients at the highest risk and guide early intervention using continuous capnography-based monitoring.

“Early identification and intervention in these high-risk patients has the potential to improve patient safety and decrease the economic and clinical burden of unplanned ICU admissions.”

Additional reporting by Charlotte Edwards.