Authors Susan McIver and Robin Wyndham will be in Nanaimo today to promote their new book After the Error: Speaking Out About Patient Safety to Save Lives.
The book, which was published in April, is a collection of true stories about people from across Canada who have had to deal with mistakes made while being cared for by the medical system.
While devastating, each medical error recounted in the book has led to a breakthrough in patient safety.
The book's foreword is by Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer for the United Kingdom and the World Health Organization envoy for patient safety, who is responsible for establishing patient safety programs in over 50 countries. Donaldson said it's estimated that approximately 40,000 patients in Canada die every year as a result of medical error.
For 10 years, McIver served as a B.C. coroner, an experience that instigated her first book Medical Nightmares: The Human Face of Errors published in 2001. McIver and Wyndham will be joined today at the downtown branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library by Parksville's Rhonda Nixon, whose story is featured in After the Error.
"It was during (my time as a coroner) that I saw things happen that shouldn't happen," said McIver.
"But it's the role of the coroner to be very neutral, and to find fact and not fault. However, I saw these things, and since I've always been interested in writing, I decided to do the first book."
After the initial book, McIver went on to other pursuits, and it wasn't until 2010 that a mutual acquaintance introduced her to Nixon.
It was Nixon's compelling story in the medical system following an episode of pancreatitis in early 2005 that then served to rekindle McIver's interest in medical errors.
"Rhonda's story is just one of ordinary people who were impacted by errors made in the medical system but has gone on to do extraordinary things," McIver said.
The session begins at 6:30 p.m.
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