My name is Charli and I am a nurse volunteer for EJF. Can I tell you the story of a two-year-old little girl who died of a preventable medication error and why this Foundation was formed in honor of her name?
Emily Jerry died of a medication error when obtaining her optional final chemotherapy treatment in February 2006. Emily was diagnosed at the age of 18 months, with a yolk sac tumor inside of her abdomen which was the size of a grapefruit. Fortunately, this form of cancer was treatable and curable. Emily endured surgeries, testing, and chemo treatments. Her treatment was so successful that the tumor miraculously disappeared with no scar tissue and no traces of cancer inside of her little body. Everyone celebrated her recovery.
On February 26, 2006, the day of Emily’s final chemo treatment (which was optional), Emily began showing signs of discomfort, which was out of character for her, as she had obtained chemo treatments in the past that were well tolerated. Emily cried of her head hurting, as she held the side of her head and wanted to be held by her mother. She began to vomit profusely as her mother called for the nurse. As the nurse grabbed Emily from her mother, Emily went limp and CPR began. Emily was rushed to the ICU and within an hour, Emily was on life support.
Emily had suffered brain damage due to an overdose of sodium chloride in the chemo IV bag. The pharmacy tech used a concentrated solution of 24.4% instead of the standard less than 1% sodium chloride solution. The pharmacy tech claimed she did not know of the error and also did not know that an overdose of sodium chloride could result in death. At this time, Ohio did not register pharmacy techs nor provided training or licensing requirements.
The foundation was created by Emily’s father, Chris Jerry in 2009 to create awareness by seeking out solutions to prevent medical errors from happening to anyone else in the future. At the time, it was not realized that medical mistakes are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S., and medication mistakes are nearly half of those errors – all preventable, as Chris soon found out as he began his quest for solutions and support of not only the victims and their families, but also to the caregivers themselves.
On March 11, the Emily Jerry Foundation is going to hold its first annual “Walk for Medication Safety Event” in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. This walk will benefit our mission to increase awareness for medication safety administration in a medical facility while having fun! We need your help to help spread the word about our cause as well as obtaining walkers to participate in our first walk. We are interested in having registered nurses and anyone else that has a career in the medical field.
Would you be interested in obtaining additional information on the story of Emily as well as information on the walk to obtain donations and sponsors? Keep in mind that the EJF is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.
On March 11th, 2017, Starting and ending at the Chagrin Falls High School (rain date March 25th), with our sponsor’s help, EJF will be hosting this 1st annual event in support of helping the Foundation build awareness and move its mission forward to save lives.
Your partnership with EJF as an Event Sponsor will…
- …improve the capability of the Emily Jerry Foundation to continue to find, promote, encourage and engage the medical community so that the lives of our loved one can be assured of medication safety as patients.
- …give your organization the unique opportunity to market and promote your business to thousands of Cleveland’s most prominent, established and successful caregivers and community members
There are many ways corporations and organizations can partner with the Emily Jerry Foundation to promote and support medication safety.
Level of Participation Desired & Contact Information
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