Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Many Have to Die or Get injured to Change?

My last blog entry spoke to our seriousness about safety. I had the opportunity to enjoy the Chicago Marathon this past weekend. The cold weather helped for some good course times though the glove I used to wipe off my sweat took a beating on my face. I will save that picture for another day.

Many of us already are familiar with the Institute of Health's (IHI) 5 Million Lives Campaign. Their website states:

Do No Harm. It is a fundamental principle for health care providers: primum non nocere – first, do no harm. It is our duty, our responsibility. Patients ask and assume that the health care that intends to help them should, at the very least, not injure them. Despite the extraordinary hard work and best intentions of caregivers, thousands of patients are harmed in US hospitals every day. Hospital-acquired infections, adverse drug events, surgical errors, pressure sores, and other complications are commonplace. Based on data collected over several years from multiple partner institutions, IHI estimates that nearly 15 million instances of medical harm occur in the US each year – a rate of over 40,000 per day.

Back to Chicago:

Two years ago, 1 dead, 250 injured. On October 8, 2007, the New York Times read:

CHICAGO, Oct. 7 — As temperatures soared into the upper 80s, hundreds of runners in the Chicago marathon fell ill and at least one died on Sunday, prompting officials here to halt the annual race for the first time in its 30-year history...By 11:30 a.m., race officials, who were consulting with city fire officials, medical experts and the police, stopped the run, setting off waves of confusion and chaos in some parts of the course.

The Chicago Marathon now has an alert system:

They even had one vendor set up a mock M*A*S*H unit, called B*R*A*S*H.

Safety is always taken seriously during these events but you could sense a difference over prior years. If you lay down at some point during and/or after, you needed to be cleared by the medical staff. This is not something I recall from prior races. In the past, if you said you were ok, you could go on your way.

Organizations and events are coming up with improved "Alert" systems to improve awareness and outcomes around safety.

I am interested in hearing from you and what safety systems your organizations have put into place over the past few years.

Congratulations to Sammy Wanjiru who beat Khalid Khannouchi’s 1999 Chicago Marathon course record of 2:05:42 by one second to finish officially in 2:05:41 (around 4:48 minutes/mile for 26.2 miles).

No comments:

Post a Comment