Medical Errors/Patient Safety

Radiation Poisoning

Concern about the effects of radiation has been expressed in media as diverse as peer-reviewed scientific journals to publicly-acclaimed science fiction films. Reports of consequences of poisoning, and when acute poisoning occurs, fluctuate wildly and so it is difficult to assess the true danger. If you are investigating this issue, please do critically evaluate...

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Doctors Censured by Hospitals Rarely Disciplined by State Boards

Doctors Censured by Hospitals Rarely Disciplined by State Boards

How do you know if your physician has been sanctioned by hospitals if she has not been disciplined by her state licensing board? Chances are that if the doctor did violate hospital standards, she escaped the notice of the licensing entity. The public interest group Public Citizen released a report disclosing that more than...

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30% of Surgical Breast Biopsies Unnecessary, At Best

At worst, some surgical biopsies which should be needle biopsies complicate tumor excision when there actually is a malignancy.  The Florida study, reported in today’s New York Times, was published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Surgery. Many surgeons were already anecdotally aware of the over-extensive surgeries, but the published study prompted angry outbursts...

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Your Doctors Aren’t Motivated to Talk to Each Other

Our crazy health care system is structured so that doctors actually lose money when they pause to discuss your case with each other.  Insurance companies don’t compensate them for discussions about the patient. Does that mean you can languish, even die, because of their physicians’ failure to talk about your case? Yes.

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The Deplorable Conditions of U.S. Medical Facilities

The Deplorable Conditions of U.S. Medical Facilities

Preface:  Industry leaders have acknowledged the problem and are struggling to improve a shameful situation. It’s difficult to believe that our medical system, reputed to be the best that exists, has deteriorated to less than even marginally-acceptable conditions.  Medical students are alarmed to move from classroom ideals to grisly reality.  That adherence was lacking...

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Hospitals must report ICU bloodstream infections.

Catheter-related bloodstream infections in the ICU kill an estimated 31,000 persons annually.  As of January 1, 2011, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires reporting the rate of these infections.  Such transparency motivates hospital administrators to allocate more resources to infection prevention.  Some institutions with improved infection control have lowered rates to zero....

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Approach SRS carefully. Very carefully.

One young mother of three children, treated for nerve pain, is now in a nursing home, virtually comatose, unable to eat, speak or move. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is an innovative, ingenius radiation technique with huge potential for treating micro-tumors of the brain and spinal cord.  It also comes with urgent nationwide warnings to doctors...

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A new standard of care requiring surgeons to disclose their level of sleep deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is as harmful as intoxication when rating surgeons' performance.

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Dialysis: The Dirty Little Secret of U.S. Medical Practice

Update: Here is a dialysis facility tracker, courtesy of ProPublica, to find out more about  individual dialysis clinics. Useful information includes the rate at which patients treated at a particular facility have experienced complications or are placed on the transplant list. Source: Contractors of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. ProPublica investigative journalists expose...

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