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Healthcare Update — 08-06-2012

Finally some proof! We CAN’T sue our way to better health care. Choke on that, American Association for Justice.

Largest medical malpractice verdict in Colorado history handed down last month. $15 million awarded to 36 year old man who came to the emergency department with neck pain, numbness, and tingling in his arms and legs, who was discharged with a diagnosis of a “neck strain,” and who suffered complete paralysis a few hours later due to a herniated disc that was compressing his spinal cord.

Another hospital turning its emergency department into a daytime acute care clinic. Boothbay Harbor, Maine’s emergency department only averaged about 11 patients per day. Now emergencies will have to travel an extra 20 miles to the next closest emergency department.

Up to 2% of patient admissions in some Australian emergency departments involve threats by patients toward medical providers. Now the Victorian State Government is creating new laws to increase penalties on perpetrators.

Patients gone wild. Connecticut woman acts like llama, spitting at EMTs, police, and emergency department staff before being arrested and charged with assault and “interfering with an officer.”

Powdery substance sent to a homeowner, then brought to police department, then brought to a judge’s office for identification causes emergency department to be shut down after 15 to 20 people experienced nausea and irritation and required decontamination. Powdery substance ended up being a vitamin supplement.

Another dirty little pharmaceutical company secret exposed. Manufacturers used to pay off generic drug manufacturers to delay producing generic versions of brand name medications going off patent. That practice kept consumers paying “brand name” prices when cheaper generics would normally have been available. Now the Senate is creating more laws to prevent such schemes.

Somebody has some splainin to do! Family takes picture of nurses shopping for shoes while child with a “violent cough” waited for 5 hours in NY City emergency department.

Should it be a right to have an interpreter for more than 30 languages available at a moment’s notice in the emergency department? If so, who should pay for it? What do they do with similar situations in other countries?

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