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4th Anniversary of Amanda Abbiehl's Passing Observed by Family, Friends, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety and Local Media

18-year-old's story called 'a powerful reminder' of need for continuous electronic monitoring of patients

CHICAGO, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The fourth anniversary of the passing away of Amanda Abbiehl was recently observed by her family, her friends, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) and NBC News South Bend, Ind. affiliate WNDU-TV.

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As detailed on the website of the foundation that bears her name, 18-year-old Amanda Abbiehl, who had been placed on patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) after being diagnosed for "severe strep throat", fell into respiratory depression on July 17, 2010, and died – a death that PPAHS Executive Director Michael Wong, JD., said was entirely preventable.

"With heavy hearts, each of us at PPAHS marks the anniversary of Amanda's passing," Mr. Wong said.  "Our sadness is compounded by the fact that her death could have been avoided.  Had Amanda been continuously monitored, her tragic story need never have been told."

Lynn Razzano, Clinical Nurse Consultant to PPAHS, agreed and offered this reminder to her clinical colleagues:  "On the four-year anniversary of the untimely passing away of 18-year old Amanda, hospitals need to think of how this could have been actively prevented.

"My hope is that this promotes more vigilance in appropriately assessing a patient when opioids are in use and ensuring that all patients receiving opioids are continuously electronically monitored," Ms. Razzano continued.  "The time is now to prevent death from opioid-induced respiratory depression. It is as easy as ensuring the order is placed for continuous monitoring whenever opioids are ordered. This should be the new current standard of practice and one that proactively prevents opioid deaths from occurring."

Ms. Razzano and PPAHS are far from alone in their quest to make continuous monitoring a universal standard of care.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently recommended such a standard, echoing the pleas the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, the Premier Safety Institute, Leah's Legacy, and the Joint Commission.

Additional Resources

Click here to view the WDNU-TV story, "Promise to Amanda: 4 year anniversary of Granger teen's death in hospital"

Click here to visit the Promise to Amanda Foundation website

Click here to visit the PPAHS website

About Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety

Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote safer clinical practices and standards for patients through collaboration among healthcare experts, professionals, scientific researchers, and others, in order to improve health care delivery. For more information, please go to www.ppahs.org.

SOURCE Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS)

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