New patient-friendly web site launches to commemorate second anniversary of daughter’s death.

Granger, Indiana, July 17, 2012 – The Promise To Amanda Foundation, created by Cindy and Brian Abbiehl in honor of their daughter Amanda who died 2 years ago while on an intravenous patient-controlled analgesia pain pump, (IV PCA pain pump), announced today the launch of their new website www.promisetoamanda.org dedicated to informing and raising awareness to hospitals and the general public to a call for greater life-saving equipment monitoring, specifically level of oxygen in the blood stream, (O2), referred to as pulse oximetry, and the level of carbon dixiode in the lungs, (CO2) also referred to as capnography, and encouraging research for alternative solutions to pain pumps.

July 17, 2012 marks the second anniversary of the death of 18-year old Amanda Abbiehl, who tragically died while she was on a pain pump which enabled her to administer her own pain medication. Approximately 12.5 hours after being put on the pain pump Amanda was found unresponsive and died. On the evening of July 16th, 2012 Amanda’s parents kissed her goodnight as she was feeling better for the first time since being in the hospital, but never saw their daughter alive again. The exact cause of death may never be known. Amanda, an otherwise healthy young lady, would have been attending her first year of college at Indiana University of South Bend.

In honor or Amanda, her parents have declared a lifelong mission to: encourage families to be vigilant EVERY TIME a loved one is placed on a PCA pump; to convenience hospitals to look at changing their protocols to using continuous electronic monitoring for both oxygen, and carbon dioxide levels for ANY patient who is placed on a PCA pump; and to encourage companies and academia researching future solutions.

“We created our foundation to honor the memory of Amanda and to ensure that other parents never experience the preventable death of their child, and that others never experience the preventable death of a loved one who has been placed on a PCA pump,” stated Cindy and Brian Abbiehl, Amanda’s parents. We understand that PCA pumps do indeed provide better pain management for patients. Patient safety is accomplished with continuous electronic monitoring using both Pulse Oximetry, the measurement of oxygen in your blood stream, and Capnography, the measurement of carbon dixiode in your lungs. This type of monitoring should become standard practice for all PCA patients. This will also provide a safety net for the nursing staff as we know the men and women who become nurses in the first place do so to help patients get better so they can return home to their loved ones.”

More than 56,000 adverse events and 700 patient deaths were linked to PCA pumps in reports to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 2005 and 2009. One out of 378 post-surgical patients are harmed or die from errors related to the patient-controlled pumps. To manage their pain, patients often receive opioid analgesia by patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), which is generally considered more effective than conventional Intramuscular (IM) injection of opioids and other pain medication.

While research being conducted for alternatives to current PCA pumps is encouraging, today’s patients and their family members should ask healthcare professionals:

  • How the pump works and for a demonstration of warning signs
  • Whether the patient’s oxygen levels are being monitored
  • Whether the patient is being monitored for adequacy of ventilation
  • If the patient’s weight, medical conditions and other medications are being taken into account

About The Promise to Amanda Foundation

The mission of the Promise to Amanda Foundation is to raise awareness of the need for monitoring, and the need for parents to be vigilant. The awareness campaign will include the general public, healthcare providers and administrators, hospitals, as well as free standing clinics that provide anesthesia such as Oral Surgeons, Plastic Surgeons, Podiatrists, Bariatric Surgery Centers, Ambulatory Surgery, etc.

A Promise to Amanda Foundation is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.