My Grandmother, Louise Batz, passed away from a preventable medical error in April 2009. It was shocking and tragic.
She was going in for a routine knee replacement surgery and the doctors said she did great. I was so happy for her to come home so I would have someone to color with. Later on that night, My mom and my grandad rushed to the hospital because Grandmother was having trouble breathing. When Mom and Grandad got there, they discovered that grandmother hadn’t been continuously monitored and she had been given three narcotics. She was given Morphine, Demerol, and Vistaril. She went into respiratory depression and suffered an anoxic Brain injury. 11 days later we took her off of life support, and my grandmother passed away. We had no idea that preventable medical errors were the third leading cause of death in the United States, and we have doctors in our family. My mom, Laura Townsend, and our family, then went on to create The Louise H Batz Patient Safety Foundation in honor of my Grandmother. She has created the Batz Guides, which help people keep up with all the operations and medications that are being given to them.
I’ve always wanted to help my mom in some way ever since I was little. I recently created the EMPOWER band. I wanted to finally have my own way to spread awareness.
EMPOWER means to empower the patients, families, doctors, and nurses to work together as a team to improve patient safety and education in our hospitals and communities.
I have made 600 bands for all of us to start wearing in order to raise awareness of preventable medical errors. As my sister, Mary Louise says, “ Empower Forever!”
Why do we need to raise awareness? Each year 200,000 patients in US hospitals die because of preventable medical errors. Not only is it the third leading cause of death in the US but in addition to those 200,000, millions more are injured.
My goal with this campaign is to raise $10,000 dollars so that we can:
- Create more bands and share them in our communities
- Make sure that every patient that goes into hospital or every family member who has a loved one that goes to the hospital knows that they are EMPOWERED
- To provide nurses and doctors across the country with bands to wear and to give out to patients as a way to show that everyone is on the same team and working toward the same goal.
We can make a difference. Help us raise awareness by donating to our campaign and get your own bracelet! For every bracelet you get, we will donate another one to one of our local hospital partners. Let's show the world that we are EMPOWERED.