Tragic Loss of Patient Safety Advocate

Written by Kim Witczak, NPA Board Member and founder of

2016 started out with the tragic reminder of how fragile life is. Last week one of my good friends – Karen Langhart took her life. She was just 56 years old.

I will never forget when I first met Karen in 2012 about 6 months after the death of her 24-year old daughter, Erika, from a pulmonary embolism caused by her birth control Nuvaring. We were at a conference in Washington DC and Karen got up in front of the 250+ audience to ask a question of the speaker. She was articulate, smart, poised, and knowledgeable about the subject, and not to mention, quite stunning and tall. I thought she was one of the researchers attending the conference. It wasn’t until she said that she was the mother of Erika who died on the prior Thanksgiving day of Nuvaring. I immediately introduced myself and we became fast friends.

Karen was a mom on a mission to make sure that what happened to her daughter didn’t happen to another family.

Read the full post on the Safe Patient Project Blog.