Patient Safety

A New Take on Managing Pain

In this guest post, Dr. Aliza Weinrib advocates for a new take on managing pain.

By Dr. Aliza Weinrib Clinical Psychologist, University Health Network

We have all been there. That moment when your doctor asks you, “So… how has your pain been since I’ve seen you last?”

At that moment, you turn to your memory to provide you with a summary of all the ups and downs that you have been through. Of course, you remember your pain! Your pain is very hard to forget or ignore!

Read More

Patient Safety

5 Key Recommendations for Safe Procedural Sedation Position Statement on Patient Monitoring During Procedural Sedation

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is pleased to release the Position Statement on Procedural Sedation.

The number of noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures performed outside of the operating room has grown exponentially over the last several decades. Depending on the patient and the medical procedure, many of these are performed under sedation to manage the patient’s pain and/or anxiety without inducing general anesthesia.

Read More

Blood Clots

Atrial Fibrillation: Early Detection and Risk Reduction

In this guest post by Drs. Nidhi Madan and Annabelle Volgman discuss why early detection of AFib can lead to a significant reduction of risk.

Nidhi Madan, MD, MPH; Annabelle S. Volgman, MD, FACC, FAHA 

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, with its prevalence projected to increase from 5.2 million in 2010 to 12.1 million cases in 2030 in the United States.1 AFib confers a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, cognitive decline and mortality.2,3 Early identification of AFib is imperative to reduce morbidity and mortality. Several factors cause structural and electrical remodeling of the atria resulting in AFIB. Established non-modifiable risk factors for AFib include advanced age and male sex. Female sex is a risk factor for strokes for patients with AFib. Other modifiable risk factors include smoking, alcohol use, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, myocardial infarction, valve disease and heart failure.

Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Can Negligence Result in Safer Patient Care? Steward Health Care Owned Holy Family Hospital Nurse Found Negligent in Helen Bousquet Sleep Apnea Case

The recent jury finding that a Holy Family Hospital nurse was negligent in the care of Helen Marie Bousquet raises the question whether negligence can result in safer patient care.

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

According to recently released press release by the Estate of Helen Marie Bousquet:

“A jury in the Essex County Superior Court in Lawrence, Massachusetts found that a Steward Health Care owned Holy Family Hospital nurse was negligent in her care of Helen Marie Bousquet on Monday, Sept. 17.”

Helen Marie Bousquet tragically passed away after what has been described by her son, Brian Evans, singer and nominee for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, as “a basic routine procedure” for knee surgery. Mr. Evans said that her tragic and avoidable death highlights the need for better assessment of patients for sleep apnea and for better treatment and monitoring of such patients before, during and after surgery.

Read More

Patient Safety

5 Safety Tips for Senior Patient Health

It’s important to take precautions to ensure a safe and healthy life. With age comes a natural decline in health. In this guest post, Holly Kramer discusses 5 safety tips for senior patient health.

By Holly Kramer

If you or your loved one is a senior, it’s important to take precautions to ensure a safe and healthy life. With age comes a natural decline in health, but by taking safety precautions, you can prevent some of the injuries and illnesses that cause complications in old age. If you’re in 55+ senior living, it’s time to take responsibility for your health and safety. Here are some helpful safety tips that keeps seniors safer and living a longer life.

#1 – Wear an emergency button

As you get older, the risk of experiencing a fall becomes much more threatening, and so having an emergency button can prevent you from being stranded alone in the event you do have an accident. Emergency buttons are small buttons, often attached to a bracelet or an easily accessible item of clothing, that you can press to contact an emergency responder as well as your family in the event you need help. Some emergency buttons even use biomedical sensors to detect when there is something wrong with the wearer’s breathing or heartbeat and to contact help if necessary. An emergency button is a great investment for older adults, particularly those living on their own.

#2 – Leave lights on throughout the house

It’s very important that seniors are able to see as they are navigating their home, because low lighting can increase the chances of an injury. Vision also tends to decline in old age, making it harder to see. To prevent problems, install night lights throughout your hallways, particularly in tight corners or areas far away from windows. When you’re awake at night or on cloudy days, keep all your lights on to increase visibility.

#3 – Cover slippery floors with grip mats

A slippery floor like tile or hardwood will make you much more likely to fall, particularly if you are wearing socks or spill something on the floor. To reduce your chances of falling, be sure all slippery surfaces in your home are covered with grip mats. These are mats that are safe to walk on and use grips to stay in place. You can also place these mats under rugs and carpets for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

#4 – Keep your space clean

You are much more likely to experience an accident if your space is full of clutter and grime, but luckily, this can be prevented with regular cleaning. Be sure to wipe down your floors to prevent slips, particularly right after you’ve spilled something. You should also be cautious of keeping your floors and surfaces clear of clutter, and keeping sharp objects stored safely away in a drawer when they aren’t in use. If you struggle to keep your space organized, investing in a dresser or bookshelves can provide extra storage space so you’ll have an easy place to put things when they aren’t in use.

#5 – Always keep your medications organized

As you get older, you’ll likely have to take more medications to manage physical and mental health conditions. It is very important that you take the medications as specified to prevent any complications. Having a good pill organizer will make it much easier to keep track of what you have and haven’t taken to prevent either missing a dose or taking two in a day. You should also set up a reminder system to ensure that you are taking your pills at the right time.  

It’s very important that seniors take steps to ensure their safety as they get older. If you have a senior in your life or are a senior yourself, assessing your home and daily routine for safety will help you live more comfortably. It also may help to talk to your doctor about any specific risks you have related to your personal health, and ask any other senior living help questions you have.


Holly loves to write on issues related to seniors, aging and retirement. Holly is a frequent contributor on many blogs and websites that help provide comprehensive resources on senior living options.

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Hospitals to be Evaluated on Their Sleep Apnea Preparedness Brian Evans and The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety Announce Creation of the Helen Marie Bousquet Fund

Brian Evans, singer and nominee for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, and the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) announce plans to evaluate hospitals on their sleep apnea preparedness.

Helen Marie Bousquet tragically passed away after what is being described by her son, Mr. Evans, as “a basic routine procedure” for knee surgery. Mr. Evans said that her tragic and avoidable death highlights the need for better assessment of patients for sleep apnea and for better treatment and monitoring of such patients before, during and after surgery.

Read More

Blood Clots

Participate in WomenHeart’s National AFib Month Screening Campaign Clinicians Please Screen for AFib

PPAHS is proud to support and participate in WomenHeart’s National AFib Month Screening Campaign. PPAHS asks clinicians to please screen for AFib.

By WomenHeart (WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. WomenHeart supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the nearly 48 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease.)

Studies show that early detection of AFib can reduce an individual’s risk of stroke by as much as 60 percent. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, is launching the “Nationwide AFib Month Opportunistic Screening Initiative.”

Read More

Sepsis

Deadly Sepsis a Global Priority but Dismissed by Majority of Health Systems Worldwide World Sepsis Day September 13th

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is pleased to partner with the Global Sepsis Alliance to increase awareness of the need for early detection and treatment of sepsis. Below is a press release by the Global Sepsis Alliance urging that sepsis be a global priority.

The Global Sepsis Alliance says not nearly enough is being done to curb sepsis, one of the most prevalent but misdiagnosed, deadly diseases, and designated a global priority by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017.

In spite of the unanimous resolution in May 2017 by the Executive Board of the WHO and the World Health Assembly to improve, prevent, diagnose, and manage sepsis through a series of actions directed at developed and developing countries around the world, the majority of countries still have not implemented comprehensive educational programs on sepsis prevention, recognition, and care.

Read More

Sepsis

Sepsis Coordinator Network A New Tool in the Fight Against Sepsis

Clinicians can save patient lives through education, earlier detection, and management by being more aware of sepsis. The Sepsis Coordinator Network is an online resource for all healthcare professionals who wish to improve sepsis care in their facilities. 

By Marijke Vroomen Durning, RN (Director of Content, Sepsis Alliance)

Sepsis and septic shock are getting more attention than ever before. Efforts from organizations like Sepsis Alliance have resulted in an increased rate of sepsis awareness among both the general public and healthcare professionals. However, increased awareness doesn’t save lives unless concrete action is taken. And this can’t be done without education about preventing, identifying, and managing sepsis.

Read More