Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Practices & Tips, Respiratory Compromise

The Preventable Death of Paul Buisson: 3 Lessons on Preventing Opioid Death

The following is an excerpt of an article first published on The Doctor Weighs In on June 28, 2017. To read the full article, please click here.

In 2005, Paul Buisson, a celebrated Quebec animator and cameraman died as a result of opioid-related respiratory depression. What lessons can we learn more than a decade later? Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Was Gary Bougie’s Post-op Gallbladder Surgery Death Preventable?

Fox 9 News recently reported on the death of Gary Bougie following routine gall bladder surgery:

Gary Bougie was two months shy of his 36th birthday when he died nearly two years ago. His family suspects he died from a condition called opioid-induced respiratory depression after going to the hospital for gallbladder surgery and they want to warn other families about how to possibly avoid a tragedy like this

Bougie had just opened his new restaurant when he went to United Hospital for surgery to remove his gallbladder back in April of 2014. He stayed overnight for observation, but his parents say learning the next morning he’d passed away from complications during the night was surreal.

While the medical examiner ruled there was no anatomical cause for Bougie’s death, his family believes the mix of pain meds he was on caused him to fall into such a deep sleep, he stopped breathing. They are suing the hospital. Their attorney says even though nurses checked on Bougie once an hour, they should have used a fingertip sensor that would have alerted them when the level of oxygen in his blood went too low. Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Safety, Respiratory Compromise

What do Joan Rivers and Katherine O’Donnell Have in Common?

Joan Rivers and Katherine O’Donnell underwent medical procedures. They and their loved ones expected these procedures to be routine – and, yet, they tragically died during their medical procedures prompting their families to commence lawsuits.

As reported by CNN, Joan Rivers died during throat surgery: Read More

Blood Clots

Recommendations for Reducing Death and Disability among Stroke Victims to be released at International Stroke Conference 2015

Guidelines Poised to Change Standard of Care for Stroke Treatment and Help Caregivers Lower Incidences of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke Patients Read More

Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

We can help prevent deaths from medical error

By Lenore Alexander (Executive Director, LeahsLegacy)

For many years I have understood that to travel by plane, you should not have to get a pilot’s license.

I still think that is true, and that’s because the airline industry, along with the government, has addressed the job of fixing what was wrong and making air travel both safe and accountable.

In the past, I used that analogy to explain why I didn’t think you should need a medical background to be a safe patient. Time, knowledge and reality have changed my opinion.

To read her opinion, please click here.

Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Sleep Apnea + Opiods = Post-Surgical Preventable Death

[Editor’s note: This article first appeared in The Doctor Weighs In. The team at Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety thank Pat for her tremendous courage and working with us on this tragic story of what happened to her husband. We hope that in this retelling, hospitals will be encouraged to ensure that similar events become “never events”.] Read More

Respiratory Compromise

Monitoring for Respiratory Compromise to Detect Cardiac Arrest

In his op-ed, Lakshmipathi Chelluri, MD, MPH (Professor, Department of Critical Care Medicine, Co-chair, P&T Committee, UPMC Presbyterian, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine), asks a great question “Preventable In-Hospital Cardiac Arrests―Are We Monitoring the Wrong Organ?[1]

To help prevent the onset of cardiac arrest, Dr. Chelluri suggests that clinicians should be monitoring for respiratory compromise as a key trigger or potential alert for cardiac arrest. Read More

Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Third Leading Cause of Death is Preventable

Dr. Peter Pronovost (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) recently appeared on the Katie Couric Show on “Shocking Medical Mistakes”.

On the Show, Dr. Pronovost discussed the number of preventable deaths that occur each year in the United States: Read More