Hospital Patients at Risk

June 26, 2007

Staph Infections Rampant

As many as 1.2 million hospital patients are infected with dangerous, drug-resistant staph infections each year, almost 10 times more than previous estimates, based on findings from a major new study.

And 48,000 to 119,000 hospital patients a year may be dying from methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, far more than previously thought, the study suggests.

The Tribune obtained the results during the weekend from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC), which is releasing the report publicly on Monday.

The author is Dr. William Jarvis, former acting director of the hospital infections program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings come amid mounting public concern about the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in health-care facilities and community settings. Medical experts consider the rise of so-called superbugs such as MRSA, a leading cause of deadly blood infections and pneumonias, one of the most alarming public health threats in the nation.

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Amazing Statistics!

June 26, 2007

Death By Medicine
By Gary Null, PhD; Carolyn Dean MD, ND;
Martin Feldman, MD; Debora Rasio, MD; and Dorothy Smith, PhD

A group of researchers meticulously reviewed the statistical evidence and their findings are absolutely shocking. These researchers have authored a paper titled “Death by Medicine” that presents compelling evidence that today’s system frequently causes more harm than good.This fully referenced report shows the number of people having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs to be 2.2 million per year. The number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections is 20 million per year. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million per year. The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million per year.

The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. (By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.5)

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U-Haul Them In Court

June 25, 2007

Upkeep lags in U-Haul’s aging fleet

THE U-HAUL TRUCK was 19 years old, with nearly 234,000 miles on its odometer. It had a history of problems with its emergency brake and was overdue for a safety inspection.Talmadge Waldrip, 73, of Forney, Texas, was using it to help his daughter move some belongings in September. He drove to a warehouse and killed the engine. Then he put the manual transmission in gear, set the emergency brake and stepped down from the cab, he told family members later.

Instantly, the truck rolled backward. Waldrip tried to climb back in, but the door knocked him to the pavement. The 6-ton truck rolled over his midsection and dragged him, crushing his pelvis.

Nine months and 14 surgeries later, the once-vigorous Waldrip cannot walk and needs round-the-clock care.

U-Haul International Inc. has denied responsibility and says it’s still investigating the cause. Whatever the outcome, the accident shows how the company tries to squeeze the last mile from its vehicles, and how it often fails to meet its own standards for inspecting and maintaining them.

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The Stealth Recall…

June 17, 2007

Anyone heard about this silent recall?

AMO Announces Voluntary Recall of Complete® Moistureplus™ Multipurpose Solution

(SANTA ANA, CA), May 25, 2007 – In response to information received today from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding eye infections from Acanthamoeba, a naturally occurring water-borne organism which can contribute to serious corneal infections, Advanced Medical Optics is immediately and voluntarily recalling its Complete® MoisturePlusTM contact lens solutions. CDC data was made available to AMO today showing that it had completed interviews with 46 patients who had developed Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) since January 2005. A total of 39 of these patients were soft contact lens wearers, 21 of whom reported using Complete® MoisturePlusTM products. The CDC estimates a risk of at least seven times greater for those who used Complete® MoisturePLUSTM solution versus those who did not.

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Woman dies in ER lobby as 911 refuses to help

June 14, 2007

Can this be real? It is unfortunate that the California’s Tort Reform is going to protect hospitals who simply do not care and should not be in business. Once again, it is the victim who is victimized once again. This is just sad and unfortunately very real.

LOS ANGELES – A woman who lay bleeding on the emergency room floor of a troubled inner-city hospital died after 911 dispatchers refused to contact paramedics or an ambulance to take her to another facility, newly released tapes of the emergency calls reveal.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez, 43, died of a perforated bowel on May 9 at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital. Her death was ruled accidental by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Relatives said Rodriguez was bleeding from the mouth and writhing in pain for 45 minutes while she was at a hospital waiting area. Experts have said she could have survived had she been treated early enough.

The Story here.

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$1.6 M Vioxx Award

June 11, 2007

 By BLOOMBERG NEWS

A judge who threw out a $51 million damage award against Merck last year over its Vioxx painkiller reversed himself and awarded $1.6 million to the plaintiff, a former F.B.I. agent who blamed the drug for his heart attack.

Judge Eldon E. Fallon of Federal District Court in New Orleans, who oversees all Vioxx litigation in federal courts, said yesterday that the retired agent, Gerald Barnett, could accept a $1.6 million award or have a new trial on his claims that Vioxx caused his 2002 heart attack. The award includes $600,000 in compensatory and $1 million in punitive damages.

Merck had sought to have the Barnett verdict thrown out entirely, but the judge denied that request, ruling in August 2006 that the company was entitled only to a new trial.

Merck faces more than 27,000 lawsuits over Vioxx, which researchers have linked to increased risks of heart attack and strokes.

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It is Ironic

June 10, 2007

I don’t mind having advocates who may have a view different than mine. I believe having access to the Courts is a fundamental right of all American Citizens. I also believe that the trial lawyers have saved many lives. Think about all the lives that have been saved because the vehicles we drive are not equipped with a three-point seat belt. Think about all the limbs that were saved because of the safety features on, say, lawnmowers.

I do not even mind to see an advocate of tort reform and an advocate of limiting the citizen’s access to the Courts use the same court system when he has been the victim of someone’s carelessness.

What I do mind, is the hypocrisy. Judge Bork claims that he fell because the Yale Club wantonly and deliberately caused harm to him and so he is asking for punitive damages. Does this man really believe that the Yale Club plotted to have him give a lecture and lure him on their premises in order to harm him?

I do mind those who claim to be against frivolous lawsuits and against abuses of the Court system to do that which they pretend to be against.

That… I do mind.

Leading Conservative Activist Seeks Punitive Damages

Judge Robert Bork, one of the fathers of the modern judicial conservative movement whose nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected by the Senate, is seeking $1,000,000 in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages, after he slipped and fell at the Yale Club of New York City. Judge Bork was scheduled to give a speech at the club, but he fell when mounting the dais, and injured his head and left leg. He alleges that the Yale Club is liable for the $1m plus punitive damages because they “wantonly, willfully, and recklessly” failed to provide staging which he could climb safely.Judge Bork has been a leading advocate of restricting plaintiffs’ ability to recover through tort law.

See the Complaint here (pdf file)

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Take Action

June 6, 2007

“Tens of thousands of people die each year from preventable medical errors. But rather than reform the medical system to prevent needless deaths and injuries, the health care and insurance industries are lobbying to limit the rights of injured patients to seek full recovery in the courts.

Rather than ignore the real crises – a lack of attention to patient safety and physician oversight – insurers and the medical lobby should invest their considerable resources in real health care and insurance reforms that will protect patients and reduce the incidence of medical error.”

Learn more about what you can do.

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