Healthcare Update — 03-11-2013


Doctor treats child born to HIV positive mother with full three-drug regimen of HIV drugs one day after birth instead of one or two drug regimen typically used until an HIV infection can be confirmed. Treatment continued for 18 months, then the patient’s mother stopped bringing the patient to appointments.
The child is now 30 months old, has been off HIV medications for a year, and has no HIV infection according to ultrasensitive testing performed at Johns Hopkins.
Now the doctor’s colleagues are planning a celebration.
Of course, if the child did poorly or had a bad reaction to the medications, the doctor would likely have been arrested, lost her license, and sued for millions.

More warnings about superbugs. MRSA is bad enough, but what happens when the organisms living in all of our intestines become resistant to antibiotics?

Patients gone wild returns. Minnesota goof screams profanities and disrupts medical care. Tied down in four point restraints until police arrive. Will likely be charged with disorderly conduct. Wow. If every patient that did this kind of thing was charged with disorderly conduct and whisked off to jail, our ED volumes would drop by a good percentage.

Electronic medical records are supposed to improve care, right? In this study, alert fatigue caused 30% of VA doctors to miss important alerts. 87% of doctors said that the number of alerts they received was excessive and more than half blamed the design of the EMR for the problem.

Quite possibly better than the lollipop story. Police find loaded gun in woman’s hoo hah during search. Also had crystal meth in her butt crack. And THAT, dear readers, is why they call it “dope.”

You think your wait in the emergency department is long? Try going to LA County Medical Center where the wait averages 12 hours at some points.
In the past, certain people have equated high wait times to a poorly run hospital, but we won’t go there.

Spider bites may be a common complaint when coming to the emergency department, but the complaint often turns out to be a MRSA infection. As the Milwaukee Brewers General Manager discovered, bites from other arachnids may also require an emergency department visit when you try to squish them up in a tissue.

British Columbia emergency physicians describe horror stories in their emergency departments allegedly due to funding issues and overcrowding. Performing CPR on the waiting room floor? Even I haven’t heard of that one before.

Nurse in New York caught stealing medications from nursing home patients.

Not sure how to take the wording in this article. Polish man walks into emergency department with screwdriver sticking two inches into his forehead, article reports that there was no damage to the patient’s brain.

South Carolina inmate grabs an officer’s gun during emergency department visit. Second officer “fires shot to subdue him” – inside the emergency department. Inmate then gets taken back to jail. What happened to the gunshot wound?

Did medical malpractice kill Bruce Springsteen’s saxophonist? Clarence Clemons’ brother, an attorney, pursues malpractice litigation against doctors for Clemons’ stroke.

Could medical malpractice climate in Florida be changing? Bill working its way through Florida House would increase burden of proof on medical malpractice claimants and would limit who can serve as an expert witness. Also protects hospitals from liability for actions of their contracted health providers.
Florida Medical Association attorney notes that Florida’s current malpractice laws are “doing a disservice to our state and are a driving force in a physician’s decision to leave critical-need specialities, retire prematurely and even leave to practice in another state.”

We’re watching you …California wants $10 million in funding to create a prescription-tracking database so that it can find doctors who overprescribe narcotics. Once the system was up and running, doctors and pharmacists would be REQUIRED to check it to look for signs of narcotic abuse. Of course, the definition of “signs of narcotic” abuse is purposely not included. That way the state could just attack at will any physicians who prescribe any narcotics. The database would be paid, in part, by raising physician licensing fees.

Interesting statistic. Top 25% of Medicare beneficiaries account for 85% of total Medicare spending. Prime targets for “death panels,” huh?
Seriously, though the article has several good points about how to improve the medical system, even though it is written by someone with no apparent experience in the medical system.
One point in which I disagree with the author is that “guidelines” should be used both as a shield and as a sword. We all saw what happened when NY Times reporter Jim Dwyer misused guidelines. In general, guidelines are situation specific and failure to follow them to the letter shouldn’t be considered malpractice.

Obese patients eligible for special seating at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Just need a medical certificate stating that your body mass index is 30 or more, which apparently qualifies people as being disabled under Brazilian law.


  1. “British Columbia emergency physicians describe horror stories in their emergency departments allegedly due to funding issues and overcrowding.”

    I found it interesting that in the comments to that article, the accusation is made that “This is the result of trying to privatize health care by intentionally making it not work!”

    Whereas in America some people are saying that the designers of Obamacare deliberately designed it so that it would be a disaster, and would push America to single-payer government healthcare (“pubic option”).

  2. Perhaps I am just a gun nut, but when I read the story of the woman with the 5 shot “Freedom Arms” revolver in her vagina my mental image was of that actual firearm, not the North American Arms gun it actually was. The only handgun that actually fits the description, a Freedom Arms 5 shot 22LR revolver, is a behemoth. Weight 54 to 66 ounces, overall length 10 1/2 to 16 inches, depending on barrel length. I was trying to picture the woman who could tuck that away, and it was not pretty.

  3. BMI 30+ is cripplingly obese? LMAO. I’m that and quite healthy exercising frequently. I’ve never had problems with too small of seats.

  4. Mandatory disclosure:
    I have some wee experience at LAC-USC Medical Center ED.

    For the record, the average wait time in 2000( and 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, etc.) was 12 hours. When the hospital was the 844 bed art deco dinosaur.
    Which Gloria Molina, also a county supervisor (1 of 5) then, also voted to close and build the 600 bed modern hospital to replace it.

    Because, quite simply, the cost of health care for indigent and uninsured patients in the county is breaking the county piggy bank.

    In 2003, they froze hiring and raises, and contemplated layoffs, because the County was going to be over $150M short on healthcare funding over the next 2 years. When asked, they volunteered that they coincidentally spend $75M/yr to care for illegal aliens in the county, or exactly the amount of the shortfall.

    No word on Ms. Molina suggesting that L.A. County and L.A. City stop running a sanctuary/day spa healthcare system for people who don’t belong here, given than 2 of 3 births of children at LAC-USC (formerly Womens & Children’s, before it was consolidated into the new hospital) since roughly 1980, if not 1850, were born to women residing in the county illegally as nationals from other countries.

    I’m going to care for whoever staggers in the door in perpetuity, but at some point, it would be more cost-effective to simply build the next addition in Mexico City, and open satellite clinics in Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo, etc.

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