Published in: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Written by: Christopher Snowbeck

12/4/2004 – Little Josie King was on the road to recovery when doctors and nurses at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore failed to notice her sudden and severe dehydration.

That condition set the stage for a cardiac arrest that left the 18-month-old girl irretrievably brain damaged.

After Josie’s death in February 2001, the King family reached a financial settlement with the hospital, but then they took the unusual step of using some of the money to fund patient safety programs at Johns Hopkins.

Nearly four years later, Josie’s mother, Sorrel, along with Johns Hopkins physicians, now speaks publicly about the medical error.

“I’ve done all I can do from a consumer’s perspective to initiate change,” Sorrel King said last week.

But as experts mark the five-year anniversary of a landmark federal report on patient safety, they acknowledge that patients are only marginally safer today than they were five years ago.

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