September 14, 2009
Two million people in the U.S. died needlessly in the past ten years from preventable medical error and 200,000 more of us will die this year unnecessarily because half of the medical community won’t be washing their hands, or their equipment, or taking out catheters, or operating on the correct body part, or handing out the right medications, or infecting the patients with germs they have brought from hospital clothes worn out in the streets. How much money is spent because of these careless practices, as well as because of overuse, misuse, and abuse by our health care system?
Let’s have a true debate. What is the value of a human life? Is it worth a hand washing? Will it be possible to alleviate medical malpractice suits when the medical community adopts safety measures that have proven to lessen infections 70-100%? Will our government and the medical communities have a mandated discipline policy and transparency, rather than lie and deny? Why can’t we find out more about the costs of care, the error rates and deaths reported? Why hasn’t the Illinois law, co-sponsored by then State Senator Obama, for reporting infection and adverse events not been implemented as passed nearly six years ago? Why, after years of trying, is there no national law mandating patient safety in the USA?
If it were not for the heroes/heroines in the patient safety movement, those who have lost children, spouses, moms and dads in this senseless medical holocaust and the many brave doctors, nurses, health educators and workers, pioneering hospitals, journalists and media, this horror would continue to be our deep, dark, secret.