You May Not Get a Second Chance to Save a Patient’s Life

Editor’s note – In this article for the DoctorWeighsIn, Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) recounts his meeting with Dr. Ken Rothfield that led to the making of the video, “5 Keys to Reducing Sepsis.”

By Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

According to the CDC, each year in the U.S., more than 1.5 million Americans will develop sepsis and at least 250,000 Americans will die from sepsis. Although these numbers may be staggering, they may not hit home until sepsis strikes a loved one, a friend, or even yourself.

For me, it struck when Dr. Ken Rothfield and I met at a healthcare conference. Dr. Rothfield is Chief Medical Officer at Medical City Dallas, which is operated by the Hospital Corporation of America. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS), a non-profit advocacy group that I founded more than seven years ago, and has been a strong advocate for and partner in patient safety. He told me at the conference, “I almost died from sepsis.”

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Early Detection of Sepsis Through Monitoring Saves Patient Lives

Editor’s Note: In this video interview, Dr. Ken Rothfield urges his fellow clinicians to monitor patients for sepsis. Says Dr. Rothfeld, “patient monitoring can alert you at the earliest possible moment when sepsis is developing.”

Clinical studies have found mortality is significantly reduced if septic patients are identified at early stages of the disease process. Anand Kumar, MD (Critical Care Medicine, Health Sciences Centre/St. Boniface Hospital, University of Manitoba) and his colleagues in “Duration of hypotension before initiation of effective antimicrobial therapy is the critical determinant of survival in human septic shock” found in their research that early detection and treatment of sepsis is akey to reduced morbidity and mortality:

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Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Top 10 Opioid Safety Articles in 2014

Of the more than 125 articles we posted in 2014, below are 10 of the most read and most discussed articles on opioid safety (order is by publication date).

As you read through these articles, please ask yourself – has a new standard of care been established requiring continuous electronic monitoring by hospitals of all patients receiving opioids? Read More

Respiratory Compromise

Medical standards of care and the Joan Rivers death

By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety), Frank Overdyk, MSEE, MD  (Professor of Anesthesiology, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine), Lynn Razzano, RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety), Kenneth P. Rothfield, MD, MBA (Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Ascension Health’s Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore; Adjunct Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Maryland; soon assuming role of System Chief Medical Officer, St. Vincent’s Healthcare)

When medical tragedies occur, one of the very first questions asked by patients, families, the legal system, the press, and the public is: “were appropriate care standards met?” Read More