A different kind of deadly epidemic. Armed robberies at pharmacies rose 81% between 2006 and 2010. Then number of pills stolen now tops 1.3 million. Not surprisingly, the criminals are taking opiates such as oxycontin and Norco. One New York robber walked into a pharmacy and shot without warning – killing the pharmacists and two customers.
Many times it isn’t your negligence that causes the car accident – it’s the other person’s negligence. Here could be one reason why: Eleven percent of day drivers and fourteen percent of night drivers have drugs in their system. Six percent of day drivers and ten percent of night drivers have illegal drugs in their system. Oh, and if you live in California, you’re more likely to see drivers with “medical marijuana” in their system.
Speaking about California … their Medi-Cal Medicaid system is proposing many cost saving measures, including cutting provider pay by 10% and requiring that patients make co-pays for medications, doctor visits, and $50/day for non-emergency ED visits, and up to $200 for hospital stays.
Ratchet up the heat another notch on all us frogs sitting in the pot of hot water called medical care.
Pennsylvania jury awards $21 million to noncompliant diabetic patient who suffers brain damage after leaving the emergency department. Max Kennerly discusses the strange defense strategy – one doctor denied involvement in the case and two other doctors “disputed [his]account. When reading the facts of the case, it I don’t see where the negligence came in. The patient was observed for nearly 4 hours and his blood glucose level was stable, which meets the standard of care. Facts don’t show why the patient suffered brain damage, though. The patient had a complicated history. Was it low glucose, alcohol-related, psychiatric medication related, or some other issue?
Boaz, Alabama Fire and Rescue department debuts $172,000 “ER on wheels.” Now all they need is a “waiting room on wheels” to go with it ….
St. Louis University shuts down emergency department when man with burns to his hand and leg mentions that he has some of his “homemade fireworks” in his car parked outside.
Waiting times in Canadian emergency departments not so good. The manner of reporting wait times is odd, but doesn’t seem to be encouraging. Ninety percent of seriously ill patients at Ontario’s Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital wait “up to” 25 hours before being admitted or discharged from the emergency departments. Many other hospitals are hovering around the 18 hour range. Ninety percent of minor ailments wait “up to” 4-7 hours at the various hospitals in the region.
More issues with wait times in Canadian hospital emergency departments. Windsor Regional Hospital sees delays in evaluation and testing climb substantially because of increased patients, decreased staff, and lack of available beds. But the care is free, though.
Maggie Mahar creates a long post with her take on medical malpractice myths and realities. Are her opinions on the mark or off base?
Complexity of health care reform bill could make Medicaid open to middle class. Medicaid was supposed to cover only patients at or near the poverty level of $14,710. However, under the health reform law, a retired married couple with total income of $64,000 could still be eligible for Medicaid. Now the administration is promising to find a “fix” to take health care away from the middle class.
Milwaukee area hospital charges $1,771 to remove a tick from a patient’s leg. Patient and commenters to the article are outraged.
To me, this is another argument for transparency in pricing and free market medicine.
South Dakota hospital planning to close unless Indian Health Services coughs up at least half of the nearly $1 million it owes the hospital for emergency care of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation residents. Indian Health Services denies owing the money, stating that it only pays for “priority emergency care” for those patients. In other words, IHS apparently wants the emergency departments to “street” any reservation inhabitants that don’t have “life, limb, or sense” threats.
US Supreme Court decides whether to reconsider the Feres Doctrine which prevents military personnel from suing military doctors for medical malpractice – even in the event of obvious negligence. The case being decided involved a healthy 25 year old who became short of breath while being prepared for an appendectomy and who later died after the nurse anesthetist tried to resuscitate him with children’s breathing equipment and then put the breathing tube in his esophagus instead of his trachea.
The article notes that, according to the Congressional Budget Office estimates, allowing military personnel to sue for medical malpractice lawsuits would cost the government an extra $2.7 billion over 10 years.
Finally, there are several great articles in EP Monthly this month. If you’re involved in emergency medicine and you don’t subscribe, you should. Request a monthly print edition at this link: http://www.epmonthly.com/subscribe/renew-online/
Wild account of an emergency physician who nearly dies after a grease fire in his kitchen.
Greg Henry is mad as hell about violence in the emergency department. Do a search for “patients gone wild” in this blog. You’ll see that he has a good reason for his anger.
EP Monthly executive editor Mark Plaster writes about how a physician reviewing the medical care of a patient who died can be a tremendous emotional benefit to patients’ families — malpractice suits aside.