Editor’s note: In this article, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety executive director, Michael Wong, reflects on how the deaths of 18-year old Amanda Abbiehl set him on the path to becoming a patient safety advocate and up-coming research that PPAHS will be undertaking.
By Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
By Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
This week marks the 8th anniversary of Amanda Abbiehl’s tragic death. Her story continues to remind us of the need for continuous electronic monitoring for all patients receiving opioids and more generally of the need for the adoption of new technologies and practices to improve patient safety.
Six years ago on July 27, 2011, I posted the first article on a free WordPress blog for the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety. It was titled “Is it possible to survive 96-minutes without a heart beat?”. Howard Snitzer, a man who suffered a heart attack survived after two volunteer paramedics responded and began a 96-minute CPR marathon. The ordeal involved 20 others, who took turns pumping his chest. This life-saving feat was only possible with the use of capnography readings, which told the volunteer paramedics that Howard was still alive and that they needed to continue their efforts.
Little would I know that that article would lead to an invitation by the University of Notre Dame and the beginnings of a 6-year friendship with the parents of Amanda Abbiehl. Amanda was admitted to hospital for “severe strep throat.” Read More →
The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) has released a YouTube video which discusses in nine minutes how to improve opioid safety. The video features highlights from over 10 hours of in-depth interviews released by PPAHS in 2016; altogether, the podcast series has generated over 130,000 cumulative views on YouTube. The podcast series brings together physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists discussing how they have improved opioid safety in their hospitals.
According to Michael Wong, JD, Founder and Executive Director of PPAHS:
“In just nine minutes, the video summarizes experiences of clinicians in improving opioid safety in their hospital or healthcare facility, and reminds us of the tragic consequences of adverse events and deaths that may ensue if clinicians and healthcare executives are not proactive in promoting safety. We hope that the video will energize quality improvement and patient safety teams to strive to reduce adverse events and deaths related to opioid use.”
The opioid epidemic was one of the most heavily-covered, and hotly-debated, topic in patient safety covered in 2016. This dialogue has been mostly centered around the effects of ‘street’ use and abuse of prescription painkillers. In contrast, the PPAHS podcast series aims to highlight the preventable harm of opioid-induced respiratory depression during hospital procedures.Read More →
This week in #patientsafety, we shine the spotlight on respiratory therapists for all the work they do in keeping patients safe. We also look at whether bundled payments for hip and knee replacements are potentially risky when it comes to safe care. From around the web, we feature a great article highlighting stories of patients found “dead in bed”, possibly from providing too much pain medication (long-time PPAHS supporters will be familiar with most of these stories). Read More →
“To increase awareness and promote discussion about and practical solutions for patient safety issues, PPAHS interviews doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and patients’ families,” said Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, PPAHS).
On the sixth death anniversary of 18-year old Amanda Abbiehl, July 17, 2016, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) noted that the motto of A Promise to Amanda Foundation – “Capnography Saves Lives” – is increasingly being realized.
“The passing of Amanda is a powerful reminder of the need for continuous electronic monitoring,” said Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, PPAHS). “Since the inception of PPAHS, we have advocated for the safer use of opioids. Opioid Safety, for patients receiving opioids in hospital and healthcare facilities, is the management and minimization of the risks of respiratory compromise, adverse events, and death through continuous respiratory monitoring with pulse oximetry for oxygenation and with capnography for adequacy of ventilation.” Read More →
The 5 most viewed healthcare posts on the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) blog were from previous years. Although we would like to think that these posts were just great articles – in fact, they had more views in 2015 than any other post, including those posted this year – sadly we think that it just shows that the patient safety issues discussed still remain.
The Google trends analysis of “opioids” (shown below) demonstrates, for example, an increase in interest from 2005 until now: