Death of Rory Staunton galvanises nationwide effort to stop sepsis
New York Times says major hospitals join to save children from deadly disease
Read more about Rory Staunton's story
“We are committed to learning from this event to prevent this or a similar situation from happening again,” Lisa Greiner, a spokeswoman for the hospital, told the New York Times. She said the hospital had changed its discharge procedures to require that a doctor and nurse both check off test results and vital signs. She also said the lab would notify a doctor immediately if it found signs of infections.
Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton, who have since sued NYU Langone, say all hospitals need to go further. They were bewildered that NYU Langone had not included parents in their checklist, failing to the let them know that they had even run a blood test on their Rory.
“Keeping parents out of the loop is shortsighted and will inevitably lead to more tragedies such as Rory’s,” Orlaith Staunton said.
Now, three hospitals in New York - Lenox Hill in Manhattan, Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens, and Glen Cove Hospital on Long Island - are testing out new procedures in order to fine-tune the model for ‘Rory’s Law.’ Part of the reform includes doctors taking a mandatory pause to brief parents on test results, and what symptoms to be mindful of once discharged.
Also as part of the reform, the three New York hospitals are implementing a draft of a four-point checklist in order to prevent anything falling through the cracks, especially in the high-pressure environment of an emergency room.
“Stuff falls through the cracks; I can guarantee it does, occasionally,” said Dr. D’Angelo, the director of emergency services for the hospital network testing the changes. “It’s not that there are bad people caring for the patient — it’s just the reality of a complex environment.”
Rory’s father Ciaran Staunton will be on hand to speak on Friday at the New York Academy of Medicine and their symposium on detecting and treating sepsis. His case will also be the subject of a panel next month at Johns Hopkins Medical Center during an international conference on medical errors.
Rory’s case also prompted a consortium of 55 hospitals in the Greater New York Hospital Association to engage in “serious, substantive discussion about pediatric screening” for sepsis, said Brian Conway, a spokesman for the association.
Read more about Rory Staunton's story
In the wake of the Staunton’s tragedy, many doctors have indicated that this was an accident waiting to happen. “I think it could have happened almost anywhere,” said Dr. Jeremy Boal, the medical director of 16 hospitals that are part of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems, which has run aggressive sepsis-detection programs since 2008. “It absolutely could have happened here.”
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