Healthcare Update 07-18-2011


More patients gone wild. Texas man becomes disruptive in emergency department, rips IV out, flings blood everywhere, shoves police officers who happened to be in the ED at the time, then gets a throwdown. Now faces up to 20 years in prison. Of course if he beat the emergency department personnel senseless, he might get an overnight stay in jail and then would get flowers from the hospital administrators because his satisfaction scores didn’t meet hospital standards.

Judge lies about citizen “threatening” him and has citizen arrested. After learning that he was caught on tape, the judge later creates a court order forbidding audio or video recording anywhere on the court’s premises. Anyone else in society who was caught doing this would get thrown in jail.

$34 million verdict against New Jersey physician and nurse who raised patient’s sodium level too quickly and caused central pontine myelinolysis.

Shortages of necessary drugs such as succinylcholine and epinephrine threaten lives of patients. In a poll, more than 99% of hospitals reported shortages of at least one medication and almost half of hospitals reported shortages of more than 21 medications. Four out of five hospitals have either delayed treatment or have been unable to treat patients as recommended due to the shortages.


One way to shore up the budget … and make sure you don’t get re-elected. President Obama proposes raising the age for Medicare from 65 to 67.

Think insurance company denials are tough now? What will happen when your doctor is an employee of your insurance company?

Sad story. Woman calls police and tells them she wants to donate her organs. Then operators hear a gunshot and silence. She happened to be standing right outside the doors to a hospital. Emergency department workers hear gunshot and rush outside to see what happened. The woman could not be revived.

Child allegedly contracts infection that “liquefies part of his brain” from alcohol wipes used during his hospitalization. Federal court orders the company that produced the alcohol wipes to stop producing or selling medical supplies.
Now what’s JCAHO going to do? Do we stop using alcohol wipes or subject patients to brain-liquefying infections?

Like a scene from Monsters, Inc. Emergency department closed and four sheriff’s deputies were held in isolation after radiation dosiemeter readings were 20 times the normal amount of radiation. Command center was established outside the hospital and patients were not allowed in or out of the emergency department. New patients were evaluated in a tent.
Then … Ooops. We just calibrated the silly machine incorrectly.
Here’s hoping that these guys know which way the bullets go into the guns.

It isn’t an emergency “room” anymore. It’s an emergency department. Damn right.

Weirdest medical story I have seen in a while
Man friends woman in “fetish” chat room. They meet. Man then orders his dog to have sex with woman. Woman dies few hours later from allergic reaction to dog. Dog kept in quarantine for the past 2.5 years (that’s 18 dog years). Man faces life in prison. Hat tip to HuffPo.


  1. I would not give a hat tip to Huffpo for anything except for being the most biased sight on the internet and most prone to censor any comment they don’t like.

    • Just like with Matt, I’m not going to shaft a news organization just because I don’t agree with their views.
      Besides, look at how much fun we’d miss out on if it wasn’t there and we couldn’t go over and kick the hornet’s nest and run away giggling every once in a while …

  2. I think they retired the term “central pontine myelinolysis” and replaced it with osmotic brain injury or something like that.

    Obama should absolutely raise the medicare age (what do I care, there is no way medicare will exist 31 years from now when I retire)- maybe he should do it during his second term? So there are no re-election implications?

    • Are you kidding? After listening to the movie in the car, oh about 900 times, I can probably recite the whole script from memory.
      Mike Wazowski!

  3. I would be so happy for Obama to raise the Medicare age. I don’t WANT to be on Medicare. I don’t want to leave my doctor. She’s the only one out of many that finally got me figured out. Going to a Medicare doc will kill me. Literally.

    • This is a topic for a post all in itself.
      When people pay into insurance, they should get the benefits of that insurance. Medicare is insurance.
      I understand that life-expectancy has increased since Medicare was implemented, and therefore costs have increased.
      What are the people who have retired, who have no insurance through work, and who don’t qualify for Medicare supposed to do for health care?
      I think we need to treat Medicare like a safety net, but not just for those over age 65 … or 67. Open up medical care to all US citizens at state/federal hospitals.
      If you want to see your current physician, no problem. Medicare shouldn’t be paying for routine office visits, anyway. Just like auto insurance doesn’t pay for oil changes or tune ups.

      • midwest woman on

        How would you define a “routine” office visit? On Lisonopril, better get those lytes checked occasionally. Diabetic? HgA1c might be in order to see how you’re doing. So on and so forth. Is this what you mean? Just curious.

      • I would define almost any outpatient office visit as not needing insurance. The highst office visit reimbursement Medicare pays is around $150. You(or your employer on your behalf and therefore actually you) pay $500 or more a month for insurance now. Knock that to $300 to cover true catastrophic care, pay the outpatient visit yourself, and save boatloads. The office charges less(cash on the barrel costs nickels to collect versus $20 to collect when insurance is involved) and then your insurance can never deny the visit anyway.

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