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Doctors As Killers? How Many People Will Doctors Be Able to Kill/Maim/Injure With Immunity?

February 9, 2010
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 20:  House Appropriation...
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Another high profile medical error claimed the life of Pennsylvania Dem

John Murtha, this time a surgical error that caused an infection, namely slicing the large intestine during a gallbladder surgery which caused such a massive infection that Mr. Murtha died.

The hospital wasn’t investigated, but then again, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox doesn’t have a history of really holding the medical establishment responsible.  Or, my mother’s friend who entered the local ER with chest pain and was sent home with Vicodin, only to die at home of a massive heart attack.  Or, a friend’s grandmother who fell and broke her spine but the same local hospital failed to diagnose the fracture, and the elderly woman died a week later from complications of the untreated spinal fracture.  I was severely and permanently injured a our local hospital, but the State of Michigan admits to not having all the records and still refused to do an investigation, both male physicians, I might add on Michigan’s medical review board who failed to do a complete investigation and have not been held responsible. Michigan’s Department of Community Health routinely refuses to investigate physicians based on another physician’s advice–it doesn’t matter what a patient may say–and the physicians don’t penalize for medical errors, just substance abuse issues. I have checked.  You can find the medical professionals disciplined by the Michigan Medical Review Board and the Michigan Department of Community health by going to the  Michigan.gov website and clicking on the Department of Community Health.  From there, you can find reports of medical professionals disciplined in Michigan, but the majority are disciplined for having criminal convictions, not one, the last time I checked, was disciplined for injuring a patient. Judging by the number of local injuries alone, a review should have been instigated against this hospital, but it has not been.  The doctors who are on Michigan’s Board haven’t seen fit to investigate.  Funny that, isn’t it?  Perhaps it’s because it happens in small towns, but then again, Michigan is comprised of mainly small towns.

So, with the rate of medical injuries at 1 in 3 for Americans, are doctors ever held accountable for medical errors?   According to the Institute of Medicine  preventable deaths caused by medical professions are the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, but no one is talking about that in health care reform.  And that is a conservative estimate. Hospital Deaths due to errors by the medical staff have hit a high of 195,000 people per year. Yes, that’s right, 195,000 Americans die from medical errors caused by people working in hospitals.

According to national studies by Health Grade, the Institute of Medicine UNDERREPORTED medical deaths, but does this really surprise us?  I mean, we are asking doctors to police themselves here…

The HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals study is the first to look at the mortality and economic impact of medical errors and injuries that occurred during Medicare hospital admissions nationwide from 2000 to 2002. The HealthGrades study applied the mortality and economic impact models developed by Dr. Chunliu Zhan and Dr. Marlene R. Miller in a research study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in October of 2003. The Zhan and Miller study supported the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 1999 report conclusion, which found that medical errors caused up to 98,000 deaths annually and should be considered a national epidemic.

The HealthGrades study finds nearly double the number of deaths from medical errors found by the 1999 IOM report “To Err is Human,” with an associated cost of more than $6 billion per year. Whereas the IOM study extrapolated national findings based on data from three states, and the Zhan and Miller study looked at 7.5 million patient records from 28 states over one year, HealthGrades looked at three years of Medicare data in all 50 states and D.C. This Medicare population represented approximately 45 percent of all hospital admissions (excluding obstetric patients) in the U.S. from 2000 to 2002.

“The HealthGrades study shows that the IOM report may have underestimated the number of deaths due to medical errors, and, moreover, that there is little evidence that patient safety has improved in the last five years,” said Dr. Samantha Collier, HealthGrades’ vice president of medical affairs. “The equivalent of 390 jumbo jets full of people are dying each year due to likely preventable, in-hospital medical errors, making this one of the leading killers in the U.S.

I don’t know why obstetric patients have to be removed from these polls, because pregnant women are people too, and deserving of the same level of  care that anyone else should receive, right?  Well, maybe women don’t get the best care.  The State of Michigan’s response to my query about injury committed to me during the removal of an ectopic pregnancy stated that “the goal should be to preserve the life of the mother,” never mind that the ER refused to treat me for 8 hours leading to a massive internal hemorrhage, and then the surgeon operated on the wrong body part and caused such  massive damage that she had to call in another surgeon who lived an hour and a half away to help her fix the damage.  So the State of Michigan’s Medical Board’s stance:  be happy you’re alive; we don’t discipline for preventable injuries.  Hmm, I wonder why not.

What about the women who die from plastic surgery, Kanye West’s mother who died from plastic surgery, completed by a surgeon under investigation for years and not removed from the system.  How about the woman who wrote the First Wives Club?  She died from surgical errors.  Or Usher’s wife who suffered a cardiac arrest from surgical proceedings?

Do we count the children?  A local family lost their daughter after she was given double doses of anesthetic at the local hospital.  Another child suffered through a viral illness manifesting as Kawasaki Syndrome and died from complications of that undiagnosed illness at the local hospital, but it took a year…

At what point do the most prolific killers in the US, the medical professionals,  get held accountable for their errors?  Really President Obama, how many more people have to die before health care reform focuses on more than just the cost?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Hocfish permalink
    February 17, 2012 8:28 pm

    First and foremost, doctors are on the take from Pharmaceuticals. Secondly, the nurses that work at many of these hospitals are on constant meds themselves. I know because my mother is a former nurse and she is hooked on the stuff and will not get off of them. Doctors continually prescribe to her despite them knowing how deadly these meds are.

    We live in a time of great confusion because of doctors. Let us not forget that Nazi Germany was fueled by medication when IG Farben and doctors took control of that country…

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