Drew Hughes was an active, vibrant 13-year-old boy from North Carolina. In June of 2013, Drew was out skateboarding with his friends and fell backward, striking his head on the pavement. After visiting the local emergency department, the decision was made to transport Drew to the Level I Trauma Center. He was alert and conscious in the Emergency Department, but as a safety precaution the medical staff recommended Drew be sedated and a life sustaining breathing tube be placed in his airway for the long transport. En route to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, Drew woke up in the ambulance and removed the breathing tube from his airway–an event called unplanned extubation. The paramedics responded by injecting Drew with a medication to paralyze him so they could replace the breathing tube before continuing the transport. Over the next 30 minutes, Drew’s oxygen levels fell dramatically because his breathing tube had been improperly positioned in his esophagus rather than his trachea. As a result, Drew lost his life. If Drew’s breathing tube had been adequately stabilized, this preventable tragedy would never had occurred.
Unfortunately, Drew’s story isn’t unique. Every year, more than 33,000 people die from unplanned extubation (41).
We believe one death is too many. That’s why Securisyn Medical is partnering with The Do It For Drew Foundation, Airway Safety Movement, and the Patient Safety Movement Foundation to raise awareness and eliminate preventable deaths from unplanned extubation.