He called it an “allergy” so the nurses and doctors would treat his addiction as such and not give him opioid pain medicine, he said.

But after they dressed the wound, they handed him a bottle of Percocet, he said.

“My addiction dopamine receptors started really going off,” Kennedy said.

His “addict brain” began to tell him how he really was in pain and needed those pills. But then his wife arrived and plucked the bottle from his hands.

“That one little wound could have killed me,” Kennedy said.

Had that hospital had Axial’s technology on hand, Kennedy’s history of addiction treatments would have come up on his electronic medical record, Donahue said. Also, the doctors would have gotten information on medicines and treatments for pain that did not involve narcotics.

Medical school students get 100 hours of training on the treatment and diagnosis of pain, Donahue said. They get more education on how to draw blood, he added.

Dr. R. Jason Yong, an anesthesiologist and interventional pain medicine doctor at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, which is using one of Axial’s services, said the benefit of Axial includes getting that addiction treatment history, which otherwise is not easily available to doctors at emergency rooms or even primary care offices because of the privacy restrictions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

“There are 23 million people living in sobriety,” Kennedy said. “There needs to be a greater appreciation that these medicines could kill them.”