Healthcare Update — 08-16-2011


Hey – ERP started posting again on his ER Stories blog. Go take a look for more posts from him and for the satellite edition to this week’s update.

Deadly fungus infection adds insult to injury in Missouri tornado survivors. Thirteen patients were confirmed to have a cutaneous mucormycosis infection, ten required admission to ICUs and five patients died. All patients had open wounds and six required foreign body removal from the wounds. The fungus is typically found in the soil and in decaying wood. Mortality from the infection can be up to 80%!

More patients gone wild. Patient under arrest brought to emergency department and given stitches, then, while being discharged, fights with police officer and tries to take officer’s gun. Nurse, doctor, and EMT jump on patient to assist officer … which will surely end in a JCAHO citation because milk and cookies were not readily available as a “less restrictive” means of subduing the patient before he was able to disarm the police officer and shoot up the emergency department.

Weather blows over stage at Indiana State Fair. Gastroenterologist on scene describes how he and others helped the injured.

Carlisle Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania fires nurse and physician for speaking up about low nurse staffing levels. Meanwhile, investigation by Pennsylvania Department of Health shows low staffing levels might have contributed to two patient deaths.

Another amazing story about a 31 year old woman who passed out and died in front of her husband — and was then revived by EMTs and emergency personnel. Lots of emotions on her reunion with hospital personnel.
Then there’s the quote in the article about how the ED physician says they “put in a little extra effort with younger patients.”

More patients gone wild. Louisiana man gets mad when maintenance man cleaned his room in emergency department with vacuum cleaner. Busts out fire extinguisher and sprays down everyone in room, setting off sprinkler system.

Some people are joining the movement for free-market medicine. Article in LA Times shows how hospitals price-gouge on costs of medications … as in jacking up the cost of a medication from $6,300 wholesale cost to $38,065 billed to patients.

Medical malpractice reform legislation sent to North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue’s desk for signing, then gets vetoed. At the same time, her campaign received over $150,000 — more money in one month than it had received in the prior 5 months. Most of the donations were from trial lawyers. Legislators overrode Gov. Perdue’s veto and enacted the reforms anyway.

You’re only covered if you go to our walk in clinics and our pharmacy. Walgreens to begin offering health insurance.

$2.5 million judgment in malpractice case where man dies after doctor allegedly failed to recognize and treat the signs of hemorrhagic shock.

Because emergencies only happen during business hours … In order to meet $3.5 million budget cut, VA hospital looks at turning its emergency department into an urgent care clinic open from 9 to 5 each day. Yeah, let’s stick it to our veterans.


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