"We were lucky to have a happy ending," actor Dennis Quaid told a crowd at Consumer Watchdog's Rage for Justice Awards in 2009. He was talking about the near-fatal overdose that his twins experienced at birth. They were given 1,000 times the amount of blood thinner they were supposed to and nearly bled to death. "Their survival was the beginning of my activism."
Dennis received the Phillip Burton Public Service Award for the spotlight he has put on medical errors and his campaign to introduce bar coding for prescription drugs and electronic medical records into the medical system. Cedars Sinai introduced a $100 million bar coding system in response to the Quaid family.
"People started telling us their story," Dennis said of people who approached him with their own tales of medical negligence.
Now Dennis has taken a stand for California families victimized by medical negligence. He is asking California voters to sign the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, a California ballot measure to toughen the state's patient safety laws.
"Troy, 10 years old, and Alana, 7, died because the health care industry has not done a good enough job keeping track of prescription medication," Quaid said. "Their father, Bob, wrote this ballot measure to change things so other families won't have to live through the tragedy his has."
Dennis urged voters to watch a short, two-minute video about Bob Pack's courageous fight and add their signature for the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act.
More than 500,000 signatures have been gathered for the Pack Act. More than 800,000 signatures must be turned in by March 24th for the ballot measure to be before voters in November.
"This patient safety reform can save lives," Quaid said. "My family went through a frightening few weeks when our newborn twins received a near-fatal overdose and almost lost their lives. Since then, I have learned that patient safety is a huge problem and that the medical industry needs to learn some lessons from the aviation industry, which has a zero tolerance policy for errors."