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The Josie King Story

Josie King Story

In 2001, Josie King had a bathtub accident and was admitted to Johns Hopkins Children's Center with burns. Initially, Josie responded well to treatment; then her condition worsened. Her mother, Sorrel, indicated a high level of apprehension about Josie's condition, but the physicians and nurses constantly ignored them. Two days prior to her planned discharge from the hospital, Josie died due to the combination dehydration and incorrectly administered opioids, which caused her heart to stop. Staff at Johns Hopkins admitted the series of errors that led to Josie's death.

Many state that Josie's death could have been avoided if the staff had heeded Sorrel's concerns. Was this incident a lack of communication or did the staff miss the warning signs. This lack of communication led to the staff ignoring Sorrel's warnings. In sum, the health care team avoided paying attention to the person who knew the patient best: her mother.

Afterward, Josie's parent did something unexpected. They offered their time, money, and commitment to improve Johns Hopkins and make it safer for patients. As they progressed with the goal of improving Johns Hopkins, with the assistance of a Hopkin's physician Peter Pronovost, their mission grew. They took on the talks of creating a transformation in America's hospitals.

Medical mistakes are the leading cause of deaths in the United States. Sorrel noted that each healthcare professional is not infallible. They must listen to others, the patients, and the parents, to ensure patient safety. Ms. King founded the Josie King Foundation (, which provides gives lectures to clinicians, policy makers, and consumers concerning the importance of forming a culture of safety.

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