WhiteCoat

Healthcare Update — 01-30-2012

See more medical news from around the web at the Satellite Edition of this week’s update on ER Stories.net

Meth heads do the “shake and bake” … on their face. New process for making methamphetamines in a 2 liter soda bottle often backfires, causing explosion and burns to the junior chemist. Because most people suffering these burns don’t have insurance and because the mandated care from this activity averages $130,000 per person (60% more than other burn patients), the financial strains are contributing to the closure of several burn units across the country – leaving fewer resources available for everyone.

Correlation or causation? Study shows that elderly patients who visit the emergency department are almost four times as likely to develop a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection in the following week as are elderly patients who do not visit the emergency department. The patients developing the infections were also “sicker” at baseline, though.
Interesting hypothesis, although I wonder whether this is similar to asserting that almost four times as many patients who die in the emergency department arrive by ambulance and therefore drawing an inference that ambulances cause patients to die.

Patients gone wild. Minnesota man arrested after “throwing items around the emergency room” then assaulting emergency physician and nurse.

Emergency department patient complaining of suicidal tendencies left alone for less than 5 minutes, some incident occurs, patient ultimately discharged from hospital, yet now Medicare is threatening to pull hospital’s funding. Did someone not buy all of the Joint Commission books before the inspection and upset the Joint Commission inspector? Notice how the hospitals are condemned for some heinous act yet how the Joint Commission doesn’t disclose what the acts were? Can’t find any mention of High Point Regional Hospital anywhere on its web site. Makes it a lot more difficult to question the judgment of the inspectors, doesn’t it?

Scranton area hospital closing its doors. Marian Community Hospital closing by mid-February. Community loses emergency department and behavioral health services.

Texas jury awards $1.9 million to patient who suffered complications after resident performed part of surgery on her without her knowledge and caused bowel perforation requiring permanent colostomy.

In the State of the Re-election, er, um, the State of the Union Address, how much was health care mentioned? Hardly at all. How often were unfulfilled campaign goals from 2010 and 2011 repeated almost verbatim? Quite a bit more.

Some people get jail time for pulling a tooth without a license. One man was awarded $22 million when he was locked up by a judge in solitary confinement for two years without a trial and had to pull his own tooth. The judge and the prosecutors who locked him up for so long should have to pay the verdict. But … negligence doesn’t apply to the judiciary.

Interesting article on why a government unfunded mandate has made Medicaid enrollment mandatory for most hospitals.

Covington, LA hospital sued for more than $600,000 when patient falls while trying to get up from the toilet. According to the article, the hospital was negligent for …
“failing to use consistent, coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to fall precautions, for the failure among team members to effectively establish an individualized plan of care concerning fall precautions, failing to instruct the patient and her family regarding fall precautions, failing to adequately monitor the patient’s response to pain medications and failing to properly observe, supervise, and assist the patient with ambulation, failure to implement nursing measures required to monitor patients and to implement nursing considerations for a patient receiving narcotic analgesics”

When patients refuse to accept a settlement for an injury, some hospitals recommend malpractice attorneys to the patients. If the attorneys know that they are getting referrals from the hospitals, does this practice constitute a conflict of interest? Better yet, if the patient sues the hospital and loses, can the patient then sue the hospital for a negligent referral?

This malpractice attorney is a moron and a thief. Malpractice plaintiffs refuse to settle case for less than $350,000. New York attorney takes $70,000 settlement check, deposits it in his account and forges settlement papers. Now he’s facing 15 years in the Greybar Motel.

Woman gets 18 months in jail after trying to steal more than $250,000 from the medical malpractice settlement in her mother’s estate then lying to the probate judge about where the money went. Lawyer walks away with $450,000 of the $1 million settlement and nobody bats an eye.

Two emergency physicians in Granite City, IL hospital fired after patient death. According to a news report from KMOV in St. Louis (that was taken down shortly after being posted), Anthony Burkey entered the “Granite City Emergency Room” having hallucinations. He was being restrained by several people when he suddenly became unresponsive and later died. Gateway Regional Medical Center is the only hospital I can find in Granite City, IL. But why was the article pulled by the news station?

Funny description from a patient’s perspective of a “ruckus” taking place in room next door to his in the emergency department.

6 Responses to “Healthcare Update — 01-30-2012”

  1. Matt says:

    Why is it weird to you that people don’t “bat an eye” about private contracts freely negotiated between private parties? Like a little more government intervention, would you, Mr. President?

  2. hashmd says:

    70% of people die in bed. To the lay public’s eye, beds are therefore deadly to people’s health.

  3. Aaron says:

    Granite City would be Gateway Regional. The Belleville News Democrat or the St Louis Post Dispatch would be the big papers covering the area, but they don’t have anything on it I can find.

  4. Nurse K says:

    Obviously if someone dies in an ER, one of the staff members must have killed him. Why stop at firing the ER docs, etc.? They should be arrested for MURDER!!!!!1!!one!!11!!

    I’ve seen/been involved in at least a couple hundred plus takedowns, and there’s really no way to kill someone doing that without it being really obvious (like bashing the guy’s head against the wall or putting the restraint around his neck).

    I would guess that if someone became suddenly unresponsive in the process of being kooky, that the “hallucinations” were from the opiate/drug cocktail that he took prior to arrival or whatever that ended up killing him.

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