In December 2002, Lenore Alexander’s 11-year-old daughter, Leah Coufal, underwent elective surgery to correct pectus carinatum at a prestigious Southern California hospital. Though the surgery went well, Lenore awoke at 2 a.m. on the second post-operative night to find Leah “dead in bed,” a victim of undetected respiratory arrest, caused by the narcotics that were intended to ease her pain.
If Leah had been monitored continuously after the surgery, staff would have been alerted and Leah would probably have been rescued. Ten years later, with the standard of care unchanged, Lenore Alexander founded LeahsLegacy.
LeahsLegacy is a not-for profit organization working to achieve zero preventable deaths from medical error through prevention, education and advocacy, and to make continuous postoperative monitoring for all patients on Opioids.
Lenore Alexander is available for speaking engagements, adult education, and consulting. For more information, or to talk with Lenore about her availability, please contact us.
Lenore Alexander is the Executive Director of Leahslegacy.org. a non-profit devoted to education and advocacy to achieve the goal of zero preventable deaths from medical error.
Drawn to this cause after the death of her 11-year-old daughter from an overdose of opioids after elective surgery, Lenore has devoted her energy to educating patients and clinicians on the need for continuous electronic monitoring for all patients on opioids. She has been featured in USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall street Journal.
Lenore appeared on the Katie Couric show, and along with former president Bill Clinton at the inaugural Patient Safety Summit. The idea of continuous electronic monitoring has come a long way during the past few years. Leahslegacy looks forward to the day all patients are monitored electronically post op as standard of care, and we can move our focus to other areas of patient safety.
Read Leah’s full story here.