Memoir of a mom whose 18-month-old daughter Josie was burned by hot water due to a faulty hot water heater, and was hospitalized for the burns at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Days before she was to go home, Josie had a cardiac arrest and died due to medical error.
Eesh, this one was tough to read. Babies aren't supposed to die. Especially when they die because a medical professional screwed up. According to the book, between forty-four thousand and ninety-eight thousand people a year die from medical errors, the equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every day.
Josie died because the medical staff did not listen to the mother. She could tell something was wrong with Josie and that she was lethargic after doing much better the day before. She asked the staff to give Josie some water or an IV because she was dehydrated and kept asking for water. She asked them to call the doctor because she was worried about her. The mom had also told the doctors not to give Josie any more morphine, that she was doing better and didn't need it. A fill-in (prn) nurse was working and for some reason gave her the morphine anyway. Josie had a cardiac arrest because of the combination of the morphine and dehydration.
Can you imagine a loved one dying because of a medical error? I can't. Josie's mother, Sorrel King, grieved as any parent would. But to tell Josie's story and make sure it didn't happen to anyone else, she joined forces with the hospital to start a patient safety program, and gave a large portion of settlement money back to Hopkins. Through the Josie King Foundation, Josie's mother also started a Care for the Caregiver program to fund a research project to look for ways to help doctors and nurses who had been involved in a medical error cope. In addition, she created a program called "Removing Insult From Injury," which trains health care professionals how to treat a patient or family when a medical error has occurred.
I love when something good comes out of something bad/sad, when people channel their grief and use it to help others. That's what this mother did. Reminds me of the book Jantsen's Hope.
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