Women Tells Nursing Class Horror Story of Incorrectly Administered Drugs
Nursing students at Penn State University were given the lecture of a lifetime by Sorrel King, a national patient safety advocate and victim of a horrific medical mistake. Sorrel’s story begins in 2001, when she lost her 18-month-old daughter at Johns Hopkins Hospital to a preventable medication error. Like many parents who have lost their children to medical mistakes, Sorrel was devastated for years afterwards, constantly replaying scenarios in her head.
To prevent other nurses and medical professionals from making the same mistake that took the life of her daughter, Sorrel regularly gives lectures to students pursuing careers in health care. She has also authored a book, titled Josie’s Story. Josie’s Story has become a bestseller in nursing and health care programs across the country.
Sorrel’s story is not meant to scare health care students, but to give perspective on how patients and their families are affected by medical errors. Her emotional story can also show why mistakes happen.
As the head of the Josie King Foundation, Sorrel has advised hospitals on pediatric response protocols across the country. Sorrel has also called for a ‘communication overhaul’ in hospitals to avoid medical mistakes like the one that took the life of her daughter.
Can Communication Prevent Hospital Errors?
According to Sorrel, she wished she had communicated her needs more effectively with the health care professionals treating her daughter. When orders for Josie to receive a narcotic were changed (an order Josie’s doctor had previously called off several hours earlier), Sorrel remembers not speaking up. After being given the narcotic, Josie could not be woken up again.
Poor communication is a major reason for hospital errors and can occur between doctors and patients or among hospital staff. Doctors may write the wrong dosage for medications or nurses may administer the incorrect amount. Patients or their families may be hesitant to share certain information with doctors.
Josie’s Story is a reminder that many medical mistakes can be prevented with communication. When a breakdown in communication occurs, patients and their families can pay the ultimate price.
The Tampa Bay medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro Law Group are dedicated to helping families who have lost loved ones to hospital negligence.