Hospitals are death traps
Sample pic only.
Many Australians and thousands of Americans are killed every month – and many more are badly hurt or sickened – by carelessness, stupidity, and neglect in the one place where they least expect it.

The hospital.

New government numbers prove that zoo animals get better care than our seniors – because one in seven hospitalized Medicare patients suffer from serious medical mistakes.

These are mistakes that require life-sustaining interventions, or cause permanent harm… and that’s not even the worst part of it. The same study showed that nearly 400 people die every month in Australian and 15,000 every month in the U.S. as a result of those mistakes.

That adds up to nearly 185,000 deaths a year, most of them seniors.

And while I think every one of them should be considered preventable, the government is a more generous critic than I. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which conducted the study, says 44 percent of those mistakes could have been caught and prevented.

Still, that adds up to at least 81,400 unnecessary deaths in a single year, and the biggest reason for them can be summed up in a single word: DRUGS. Medication errors – the wrong drug, or the right drug in the wrong amount – accounted for more than half the deaths in the new study.

Other patients suffered from preventable infections, falls, incorrect procedures, bleeding problems and more. Some suffered from more than one mistake – and one elderly patient hit the opposite of a jackpot: Six errors in one hospital stay.

The only encouraging stat here is the cost of all those mistakes – $4 billion a year. That’s practically pocket change in an era of trillion-dollar stimulus and bailout packages.

The Department of Health and Human Services says fixing the system will require new laws, specialized programs, help from patients, yada yada yada.

Give me a break! Just enforce some real safety standards – and axe any doc who screws up.

And since fatigue accounts for more of these errors than anyone will admit, how about this: Stop letting hospitals force residents to work 30-hour shifts and 80-hour weeks.

Give docs, nurses, surgeons, interns and everyone else the rest they need, and maybe they’ll actually be awake on the job most of the time.

Common sense avoids common mistakes

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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