The Patient Advocate

The Effect Of Creating And Using A Safety Checklist

 In Conjunction With The Performance Of Non-Cardiac Surgery In January of 2009 the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston reporting

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Women Beware

Your rights to proper and regular screening for cervical cancer by pap smears and other means is being attacked. In a recent publication of a British Medical Journal (October 13, 2008), the findings of a joint European study are reported.

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MGUS & Multiple Myeloma

Each year many die of multiple myeloma. It is a cancer principally affecting bone but capable of metastasizing to the lung and soft tissue. A man or woman in their 40’s or 50’s suddenly suffering a fracture of some spinal

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Failure to Understand Allergy Leads to Woman’s Death

A patient was undergoing a procedure in a hospital when she had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic being administered, causing cardiac arrest. She was successfully resucitated and her surgery was rescheduled. Amazingly, the surgeon, who was the same surgeon present at the time of the original cardiac arrest, insisted that the patient get the prophylactic antibiotic and the anesthesiologist present and the nurse anesthetist present lacked the courage to refuse. The drug was administered. The patient died.

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Death Due To Anesthesia

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, mortality rates for conditions studied were from 0.11% to 1.2%. While these percentages may seem small when one considers the hundreds of thousands of surgical cases performed annually under anesthesia an ominous picture emerges. The average for all patients is 0.38%. This means that out of every 1000 cases, 38 patients die. The mortality rate adjusted by operation does reveal certain patterns. Mortality rates were lower, 10 times lower for mastectomies and hysterectomies than they were for cholecystectomies. In a more recent risk-adjusted study of 117,440 surgical cases in Pennsylvania, Silber, et al.2, observed an increase of 2.5 deaths per 1000 patients when an anesthesiologist was not involved in the case. This statistic is alarming in light of the Institute of Medicine’s Review which concluded: “Today anesthesia mortality rates are about one death per 200,000 to 300,000 anesthetics administered.”

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The Negligent Interpretation Of Pap Smears

Published by the American Society of Cytopathology in their Journal, Pathology Patterns Reviews. Cervical cancer continues to kill approximately 4900 women annually. This is a particularly alarming statistic to the 15,700 women who are annually diagnosed with new cases of

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Hospital Acquired Infections

According to the CDC 99,000 people die annually from hospital-acquired infections. As Betsy McCaughey Ross, the former Lieutenant Governor of New York put it, “You don’t often come across such a big problem that you can prevent.” McCaughey started the

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The Pap Smear Case

A noted cytopathologist, Leopold Koss, has said that the use of the Pap smear should virtually eliminate the chances of a woman developing invasive cancer. Nevertheless, this year approximately 7,000 women will die of the disease-a disease that is largely

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