SECOND ANNUAL INTERPROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVES SPEAKER SERIES
presented by the School of Health and Medical Sciences
How to Save a Life:
Speaking Up to Prevent Medical Errors
Featuring Sorrel King, the mother of Josie King, who died from preventable medical errors when she was just 18 months old. Sorrel is the author of Josie's Story and the founder of the Josie King Foundation, which supports innovative programs to prevent others from dying or being harmed by medical errors.
Eighteen-month-old Josie King was just two days away from returning home after recovering from severe burns in a Baltimore hospital. But instead of planning for her happy and healthy homecoming, Josie’s mother, Sorrel, became very concerned about her young daughter’s condition.
Josie appeared extremely dehydrated and agitated, so Sorrel expressed her concern to various members of the medical team. They continued to reassure Sorrel that Josie’s vitals were fine. Despite Sorrel’s pleading, they also insisted that Josie not drink water, and a doctor verbally ordered that no more narcotics should be given.
98,000 people die every year from medical errors, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
Tragically, due to miscommunication among the hospital staff, a nurse administered methadone, a pain-relief narcotic, to Josie, and she later died due to the combination of misused narcotics and dehydration. “She died from a breakdown in the system. She died from a breakdown in communication,” Sorrel has said. In an instant, Sorrel and her family’s lives changed forever.
Change, however, remains a constant in Sorrel’s life. To honor Josie’s memory and to prevent others from dying or being harmed by preventable medical errors, Sorrel and her husband established the Josie King Foundation to advocate for change in the healthcare system. Sorrel is now a national advocate for patient safety, and the Foundation supports innovative programs that unite healthcare providers, patients and families to create a culture of patient safety — together.
"How to Save a Life: Speaking Up to Prevent Medical Errors" is the second annual event of the School of Health and Medical Sciences' Interprofessional Perspectives Speaker Series. The School emphasizes the importance of interprofessional education (IPE), which brings together students, faculty, clinical partners and alumni from the allied health professions in order to learn about, learn from, and learn with each other. This interprofessional approach to health sciences education leads to effective collaboration among practitioners and, ultimately, improved health outcomes for our patients and communities.
Learn more about the School of Health and Medical Sciences, which offers graduate programs in athletic training, health sciences and health administration, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant and speech-language pathology, as well as a medical residencies and fellowships program.