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Connie's Story: A Nurse's Personal Experience with MRSA

April 1, 2008 
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The voices of patients are often missing from discussions of the impact of medical errors and adverse events. Ms. Constance Lehfeldt is a former nurse who developed a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, which ultimately led to a devastating series of complications. Connie bravely describes her story, with understated eloquence, in the video interview. Although the exact source of her MRSA infection remains unclear, it manifested itself after her surgery at a hospital in the PeaceHealth system. That organization has courageously shown this video several times to its employees and leaders—a powerful statement about PeaceHealth's commitment to openness and safety. We thank PeaceHealth Whatcom region, and particularly Connie, for granting us permission to post the powerful testament—which may be freely used for teaching purposes.

Since recovering from the infection (which left her with mild speech problems and blindness in one eye), Connie has joined the Surgical Care Improvement Project at one of the PeaceHealth facilities, doing what she can to improve the safety of other patients.

Watch the video interview: Connie's Story


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This project was funded under contract number 75Q80119C00004 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The authors are solely responsible for this report’s contents, findings, and conclusions, which do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. Readers should not interpret any statement in this report as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. None of the authors has any affiliation or financial involvement that conflicts with the material presented in this report. View AHRQ Disclaimers
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