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)
Death From Patient-Controlled Analgesia
10 years ago today, 18-year old Amanda Abbiehl tragically died in 2010 at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center (SJRMC).
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
Join the newest Physician-Patient Alliance Initiative to Reduce the Risk of Respiratory Compromise and Save Lives. By simply signifying your support for reducing the risk of Respiratory Compromise and for saving the lives of patients, you can help ensure changes are made. Read More
In the story, “Hypoxia After Surgery Much More Common Than Previously Believed — Study finds high rate of prolonged bouts of desaturation on wards” (Anesthesiology News, March), Daniel Sessler, MD (Michael Cudahy Professor & Chair, Department of Outcomes Research, The Cleveland Clinic; Director, Outcomes Research Consortium) who helped conduct the study, described its results as “sobering.” Read More
by Sean Power
July 24, 2014
This past weekend (July 17) marks the anniversary of the tragic death of 18-year old Amanda Abbiehl, whose story serves as a powerful reminder of the need for continuous electronic monitoring.
Lynn Razzano, Clinical Nurse Consultant with the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, offers an appeal to her clinical colleagues:
“On the four year anniversary of the untimely passing away of 18-year old Amanda, hospitals need to think of how this could have been actively prevented. My hope is that this promotes more vigilance in appropriately assessing a patient when opioids are in use and ensuring that all patients receiving opioids are continuously electronically monitored.
by Sean Power
In honor of Patient Safety Awareness Week last week, the Premier Safety Institute gathered experts on opioid safety to participate in a webinar discussion. The panel, moderated by Gina Pugliese, RN, MS, vice president, Premier Safety Institute, Premier Inc., featured several authorities on opioid safety, including: Read More
In the recent article, “Silent Danger: PCA Pumps and the Case for Continuous Monitoring” published by Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation in Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology, the story of 18-year old Amanda Abbiehl is told as a powerful reminder of the need for continuous electronic monitoring. Read More
by Sean Power
December 12, 2013
The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health and Safety released their findings from the First National Survey on Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) Safety Practices. Read More