Losing a child is one of the most unnatural things a parent will face. A local couple turned their despair into a promise that they would do everything in their power to prevent another family from the pain they have endured.
They made a Promise to Amanda and this month one local hospital instituted the protocol they have been fighting for.
“I am sure she's looking down and saying great job memorial and mom and dad because she would be leading the fight if it was somebody else,” says Cindy Abbiehl who is fighting for capnography in all hospitals.
Cindy and Brian Abbiehl are talking about their daughter Amanda, who died at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center two days after being admitted for a severe case of strep throat.
“Our daughter passed away and we believe that had she been on a CO2 monitor that she would not have passed,” says Cindy.
They could not bring Amanda back but through their foundation want to get these monitors in hospitals local and nationwide.
“There's nothing good from her death. If we could get them to monitor that with a CO2 monitor we know that it would prevent a lot of deaths,” says Cindy
The Abbiehl's took their plea to local hospitals and this month Memorial Hospital implemented the use of these monitors on all floors, for all patients who need them.
“This capnography is a much earlier indication that a patient is suffering,” says Dr. Cheryl Wibbens, M.D., Medical Staff President at Memorial Hospital. “It will save lives.”
And when it came time to decide which patients would get the monitoring the Memorial team decided it would be available to every patient who needs it.
Those patients are any one on a pain pump, an epidural with opioid or sedation.
Pain Management Coordinator Mary Bell demonstrated for us how it work.
“The reason we are doing that is we are giving you some strong pain medication,” says Mary Bell, RN, a pain management coordinator at Memorial Hospital.
If a person's respiration starts to show problems, an alarm goes off and staff is alerted.
“If I was coming in to have a surgery and I was going to have a PCA I would want this on so that if indeed I got so sleepy that I wasn't breathing somebody,” says Dr. Winnens. “Mary would now about it and could make a change before something bad happened.”
Another level of safety for all patients at Memorial and a Promise kept to a daughter.
“We are pleased beyond words,” says Brian. “It's a safer place because of it.”
It will not bring their daughter back but the Abbiehl's are making good on their Promise to Amanda and they know she is high fiving them from heaven.
“We definitely know that she's looking down on us and pushing us all the way,” says Brian.
And the Abbiehl's will continue to push, hoping every hospital here and across the nation will add these monitors.
In addition to Memorial, Elkhart General Hospital is the only other hospital in our area using CO2 monitors in the same manner.
For more information visit: Promise to Amanda.