WhiteCoat

Healthcare Update — 09-19-2011

More health-related news from the past week over at the Satellite Edition at ERStories.net.

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Chinese patients take different approach when they believe that medical care has been substandard … they hire professional protesters. Protesters then attack hospitals with pitchforks and clubs with hopes that the hospitals will pay the patients to make the protesters go away. Protesters receive 30-40% of any money that is paid to the patients. The Chinese have even coined a word for the paid protesters: yinao, meaning “medical disturbance.”
In the US, we have coined a phrase for a similar phenomenon: frivolous lawsuit, meaning “yinao.”

Tennessee family of brainiacs makes it into this week’s patients gone wild. Mom and two adult kids thought it would be funny to put a box under a chair in the ED waiting room then call the hospital switchboard and tell them that it was a bomb. Ooops. Forgot about those surveillance cameras in the lobby that recorded your little scheme, did you? Now you’ll have 2-15 years in the Greybar Motel to laugh about your felony conviction.

Woman wins $23 million verdict against home health care agency and nurse when nurse allegedly failed to report a bacteria-infected catheter that caused a bloodstream infection resulting in amputation of both the patient’s legs.
And we wonder why home health nurses send patients to the emergency department so often?

NY Times article discusses how health care reform will expand Medicaid coverage for the poor and provide subsidies to help others purchase private health insurance, stating how “such steps will make health care much more affordable…”
Note how the article tries to equate “insurance coverage” with “health care”?
Health care insurance doesn’t guarantee you health care any more than automobile insurance guarantees you a car.

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Speaking about insurance, Shadowfax explains how his state is rationing healthcare to cut costs. Coming to a health plan near you?

Bath salts are still popular … and still killing people. Read how one man became rich selling them, and how he dares police to try to stop him.

Utah man yells so loud at football game that he gives himself a pneumothorax and ends up in the intensive care unit.

“Centurions” – the new Australian term for psychiatric patients that wait in the emergency department for more than 100 hours before being placed. One recent psychiatric patient spent just short of a week waiting in the ED for admission.

Israeli man goes into emergency department and wants pregnancy test. They do the test and it comes up positive. Doctors determine that the pregnancy is proceeding as planned. No, I am not kidding. No I did not begin writing for the National Enquirer.

Gardasil causes brain damage. Just ask presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann or the mystery mother that came crying to her after the recent presidential debate. Two researchers offer total of $11,000 if anyone produces medical records of patient getting brain damage from the vaccine.

Patient’s heart failure misdiagnosed as pneumonia. Patient later admitted and died from brain aneurysm. Multiple doctors and physician’s assistant sued for more than $6 million. Jury decides that only the physician’s assistant was liable for patient’s death, awards $667,000 to patient’s family.

Child is born with no arms and one leg. Florida jury awards $4.5 million to parents because obstetrician misread fetal ultrasound demonstrating abnormalities and therefore prevented mother from aborting the child. Parents also settle out of court with other defendants. Later in life, child will get to read news stories about how his parents won a lawsuit because they wished they had killed him before he was born.
UPDATE: Additional information at this story.

Common sense prevails. Federal judge blocks enforcement of Florida’s law that prevents doctors from asking patients about gun ownership. Originally, Florida wanted to make violations of the law punishable by a five-year prison sentence and $5 million fine. Eventually, lawmakers settled on a penalty of loss of a doctor’s medical license and a fine up to $10,000.
What’s the punishment for asking Florida lawmakers about their competence? Disembowelment?

Maybe I spoke too quickly. Florida may give doctors another reason to leave the state. Florida supreme court deciding whether to invalidate Florida’s medical malpractice caps.

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10 Responses to “Healthcare Update — 09-19-2011”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Re: The Israeli dude becoming pregnant. Yeah…it might help to mention that he’s actually a woman that had a sex change. So not really a man.

  2. Miss Chevious says:

    The link for the pneumothorax story goes to the head shop story.

  3. DefendUSA says:

    Florida parents…effing despicable…I cannot imagine that kid and his psyche when he learns the real truth.

  4. That pneumothorax case was friggin’ crazy.

  5. ERdocJaded says:

    re: aneurysm story. how is failure to diagnose a (presumably) unruptured Berry aneurysm related to SOB, pneumonia and CHF. I must be missing something…..or the story does not lay out all of the facts

  6. Nurse K says:

    The photos from the Tennessee bomb threat family look like they’re from the Faces of Meth website…

  7. JustADoc says:

    I agree that I am at a loss as to what happened in the aneurysm case. Sounds like she may have had a postpartum cardiomyopathy that was misdiagnosed and mistreated as pneumonia. But she died of an aneurysm which is really unfortunate but has nothing to do with the misdiagnosed cardiomyopathy. Nor is there any screening test recommended for them(short of significant family history) and absolutely no symptoms are described that would reference to one.

  8. Hueydoc says:

    “Centurians”- funny, that’s what we call patients with over 100 ER visits……

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