Those of you who attended Health Journalism 2008 may remember actor Dennis Quaid’s appearance at the event, telling the harrowing tale of the heparin overdoses that almost killed his infant twins.
Dennis Quaid spoke about medical errors at Health Journalism 2008. (Photo: Pia Christensen)
Quaid continues his crusade against medical errors with a documentary that will debut April 22 (and airs on the Discovery Channel on April 24) and co-authoring an article in the Journal of Patient Safety.
The article, which focuses on the use of anecdotes and storytelling to improve patient safety, is not typical journal fare. It’s equal parts how-to manual, anecdotes and sermon, and Quaid’s commitment comes across forcefully.
As you finish reading this narrative and return to your life in health care, we challenge you to think about your own story. If every story has a hero, a victim, a villain, a crisis, and a resolution, we want you to see yourself as a hero. It is time to write your own story. Turn that light into heat and focus it on your villain: the villain that protects the status quo, the way we have always done things. A best friend of this villain is survival-centered, blind cost-cutting that drives enormous safety risk and harm to patients.
Quaid spoke about the topic yesterday at a National Press Club luncheon (video), where he also announced that his nonprofit Quaid Foundation has merged with the Texas Medical Institute of Technology.
If you attended Health Journalism 2008 in March, you likely heard actor Dennis Quaid give an emotional talk about the medication error that nearly killed his newborn twins.
Dennis Quaid speaks to attendees at AHCJ's annual conference, Health Journalism 2008 in Arlington, Va., in March. Photo: Carrie Devorah
During the talk, Quaid said he was considering a suit against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where the twins had received a dose of the blood thinner heparin that was 1,000 times what they should have gotten.
The Los Angeles Times reports today that Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, have reached a $750,000 settlement with the hospital. The Times says that “Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was not sued, though the hospital was described in a court filing as a ‘potential defendant.'”
The couple still has a suit pending against Baxter Healthcare Corp., which made the heparin. The Quaids started the Quaid Foundation in hopes of raising the standard of patient care and reducing errors in hospitals.
Reminder: Health Journalism 2009 will be in Seattle, April 16-19.