Even when prescribed for a legitimate medical condition, the use of opioid painkillers can sometimes pose a deadly threat.
After Tyler Ireland was admitted to a hospital in his native Great Britain to correct a collapsed lung, the 18-year-old received a PCA pump to dispense his pain medication. The prescribed doses are activated when the patient taps a switch.
“I was really surprised at how well he was doing,” his mother, Victoria Ireland, said in a Physician-Patient Alliance for Health and Safety (PPAHS) release .
What happened is detailed in “Tyler’s Story: A Deadly PCA Medical Error,” a 5-minute YouTube video produced by the PPAHS.
During a visit with Tyler in recovery, Victoria noticed the teenager was slipping in and out of consciousness. Doctors had upped his morphine dosage, but Victoria was assured the side effects were normal.
The next day, however, Victoria rushed to the hospital after officials phoned her that “something had happened." Tyler died of cardiac arrest, presumably from a morphine dosing error.
Although Tyler's surgeon urged the grieving mother to get to the bottom of things, Victoria knows it won't bring back her son.
“I just think it doesn’t matter how it happened,” Victoria said. “The pain and the loss is the same.”
Watch the full video online at https://youtu.be/Pj3rX2KTyOI.