Mother against medical error

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Still, not enough U.S. hospitals deliver the kind of life-saving information patients and their families need to seek and receive quality care. Helen Haskell of Columbia, SC, felt stranded in the system when her 15-year-old son, Lewis, died from a medication error following a breast bone surgery. The Institute of Medicine estimated that as many as 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors in the hospital. A devoted patient safety advocate and founder of Mothers Against Medical Error, Helen helped pass the Lewis Blackman Hospital Patient Protection Act in 2005, which requires all doctors to wear identification tags. Patients can know whether a doctor or medical resident is attending a patient. “Our greater challenge will be to follow where the Lewis Blackman Act can lead us—to address the larger issues of patient safety and medical care that are now coming to the forefront across the country,” said Helen after the bill’s passage.

 

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