Matthew's Law sign now



We, the undersigned, request that under Matthews Law, we establish a safe system of medication administration in all medical facilities across the nation. There are approximately 500,000 avoidable patient deaths annually throughout the United States and this number would be greatly reduced if there were a system of checks and balances. Matthews Law is intended to be used by any medical facility that administers medication and will require that facilities have a system in place by April 10, 2009 that uses the current year Physicians Desk Reference as its basis to ensure that all medication administered is appropriate for each individual patient and that all documentation is legible for the purposes of accountability. All patients vitals must all be checked and documented legibly on a consistent and routine basis as well as upon arrival and before discharge to watch for medication effects and patient stability.

In 2003, The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine found that 98,000 Americans die each year because of preventable medical errors; these errors kill more people than diabetes, influenza and Alzheimers.

In Pediatrics magazine for April 2008 a study revealed that overdoses and medication mix-ups and bad drug reactions harm one out of 15 hospitalized children. This means that there are 540,000 children a year affected.

According to the Quaid Foundation:
Each year over 100,000 men, women, and children die needlessly and countless others suffer serious life-impacting injuries in hospitals and other medical facilities throughout this country. What the medical industry does not want the public to know is that these patients are not dying from the diseases or injuries for which they originally sought treatment. The truth is that these patients are the victims of avoidable medical mistakes made by the very staff and entities they have entrusted with their lives and well-being.

Whether the cause of death is a negligent physician who makes a hasty or wrong diagnosis, a sleep deprived nurse who overdoses or misdates a patient with medicines from bottles that are often deadly similar in their names, or packaging or a lack of safeguards which could have caught a mistake made by an overworked caregiver, the source of the problem is the same HUMAN ERROR.

As stated previously, deaths due to medical errors happen one case at a time and so slip under the public radar. If reported at all, the story quickly fades away as just another faceless statistic, save for the families and friends who mourn their loved ones. But Im sure we could all feel the dramatic weight of this silent tragedy if these 100, 000+ victims were the passengers of doomed airplanes. That would be the equivalent of one major airline crash a day, everyday, every year.

We need to be an informed public that demands accountability. Please join me as I petition our representatives to take a stand and do the right thing to protect the people of this country from human error, especially those who cant protect themselves.

Our desire in Matthews Law is to:

1. Eradicate errors:
By requiring that ALL facilities administering medications have a system in place to check a patients weight, age and drug interactions against a Physicians Desk Reference (computerized or by a checks & balance system of more than one person signing off).

a. Use technology-an electronic prescribing system that uses a bar code system for each and every patient or a computerized physician order entry system would be used. The drug prescribed by the physician would be automatically checked against the patients vital information for potentially dangerous side affects of dosage issues and would eliminate the potential for misread prescriptions and notes.

b. For facilities that do not use the technology method of administering medication, there must be a system in place where there is documentation of who checked the medication and dosage against the Physicians Desk Reference and who, was the second person to check it and legibly sign off, before the medication is administered.

c. That all patients vitals are to be checked upon arrival, on a consistent basis during a stay and before a discharge to ensure stability and watch for drug interactions and reactions.

2. Let Patients Know Their Rights
Patients have the right to know any information that could have an impact on their health so that they could make an informed decision as to their choice of hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals. Patients also have the right to know exactly what dosage of medication, the type of medication and why it is being given as well as any and all side effects and interactions with other medications this may cause as well as knowing they have a right to refuse the medication.

a. Make sure the ID bracelet is on the patient at all times.

b. Before anything is administered to a patient, let them know the name of medication, why its being given, dosage and possible side effects.

c. All medical personnel will practice the RIGHTS of medication administration each time a medication is given: Right patient, Right medication, Right dosage, Right time, and Right route.

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  • 09 November 2015150. Cheri S
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  • 01 November 2015148. Terry Lg
    We have had the same thing happen to our Mother
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  • 17 January 2015127. Maryann W
    As a RPh, I couldn't agree more with this law. Most good facilities have these measures in place already, but all should conform. We will never eliminate all human error, but we can and should do better.
  • 28 December 2014126. Susan Lk
    1617 S. 93rd Street, West Allis, WI, 53214 ~~ I believe that a full street address is needed rather than an e-mail address so that is why I included the street address. Also, as a now retired (due to disabilities) LPN, until nurses are treated properly an
  • 17 December 2014125. Catherine H
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Bruce WheelerBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
State and Federal Legislators and Judiciary Committees

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