CHICAGO, May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) has shared a new patient story video titled "Tyler's Story: A Deadly PCA Medical Error" on its YouTube channel.
In the video, Victoria Ireland tells the story of her son Tyler - an 18-year old boy who died as a result of opioid-related harm. After a routine procedure known as pleurodesis to reverse a collapsed lung, Tyler was placed on a patient-controlled analgesia pump to manage his pain. A PCA pump delivers a precise amount of an opioid - in this case, morphine - prescribed by the doctor at intervals triggered by the patient using a button. A day after being admitted to the general floor of the hospital to recover, Tyler was found unresponsive and suffered two cardiac arrests.
While on the PCA pump, Tyler's status was only monitored by intermittent spot checks by a nurse on shift, which respiratory experts state is not sufficient to catch a rapid deterioration in breathing before it is too late. Tyler also may have been exhibiting signs of obstructive sleep apnea, a very common condition in the adult population that Thomas Frederickson MD, lead author of the RADEO guide, identifies as a key contributing factor to opioid-related respiratory depression.
"This story is a reminder that opioid-related harm can occur anywhere, even in normal, healthy patients," says Michael Wong, JD, Executive Director of PPAHS. "The sudden deaths of patients, like Tyler's, can be prevented by continuously monitoring with capnography and screening for high-risk conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea."
The video can be viewed on the PPAHS YouTube channel here.
PPAHS has developed several resources aimed at improving opioid safety such as the PCA Safety Checklist which is a free, downloadable resource for clinicians developed to remind caregivers of the essential steps needed to be taken to initiate PCA with a patient, and to continue to assess that patient's use of PCA. This checklist was developed after consultation with a group of 19 renowned health experts, including intensive care specialist and a leader in medical checklist development Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM, Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Medical Director, Center for Innovation in Quality Patient; and Atul Gawande, MD, Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, who is a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and author of "The Checklist Manifesto."
About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve healthcare delivery. For more information, please go to www.ppahs.org.
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SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS)