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Friday, February 24, 2006

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My wife's father died in the hospital...from dehydration. How is this possible. Salt poisoning. In a hospital. Just change the IV bag!!

Medical Schools, Hospitals, etc....all it's about is $$$$, and that's very sad.

- Jon
- Daddy Detective
- www.daddydetective.com

I almost had surgery on my spinal column but decided not to after this pre-surgery interchange with the doctor:

[Looking at X-ray of a skull and neck]
Me: That isn't my X-ray.

Doc: Yes it is.

Me: No. My head is shaped differently. I also have lots of metal dental fillings. This head doesn't have any.

Doc: THIS IS YOU! ...(then coninues to tell me what he's going to in surgery)....

Me: This ISN'T my X-ray!

Doc: Stop complaining. By the way how is your son?

Me: I don't have a son.

Jon and Nadine: Both your stories are really scary.

Brettdl-
Scary yes, but that 'This-Is-Not-My-XRay' conversation may have saved my life. That same doctor had me scheduled for a second cortisone spinal injection for the next day. The first injection had made me EXTREMELY ill and I told him that I thought it was contaminated.

He had dismissed contamination as a possibility... I didn't.

This guy didn't skip a beat...He had all the answers... And he thought I knew nothing.

I didn't trust him therefore I canceled the appointments for the injection and surgery.

The very sad thing is that some of the people who got injections that day died....

The cortisone was contaminated. It was being formulated by a private pharmacy across the street from the hospital.

What I learned from all this:
DOCTORS HAVE TO EARN MY TRUST!

People died from the injection? Boy, it's a good thing you trusted your instincts.

Does this sort of thing happen often?

Brettdl-
If cortisone for injection is "formulated" (this is mixing crystaline cortisone with distilled water) under non-sterile conditions, then yes there is the possibility for an infection which could prove fatal.

The pharmacy in Walnut Creek that was responsible has been closed.

There is a large issue with disclosure of the source of "formulated" perscriptions. Most patients have no idea that a medication may have been from a private source.

That's reassuring. It just reinforces my belief to avoid medicine except in dire emergencies.

I just read today that malpractice costs are no higher in the US than they are in Canada, Australia and other countries. The problem here is that the insurance companies have to make a profit. And as the great article from the New Yorker that you link to points out, the Republican "solution" of abolishing insurance is not going to help the situation, but rather will make it even less likely that people will seek out help preventatively or when they need it.

Stories like your dad's also point out the need for second opinions; as it is now the hmo or the insurance company may not agree to pay for those...

Until we get some civilized people in charge in Washington though I don't see this problem getting any better.

I agree Chip. Btw, thanks for pointing me to that great article in The New Yorker. I should have credited you.

While one most often hears of cases of undetected illness, there are also cases where cancer is wrongly diagnosed, and the consequences can be severe.

My wife and I recently spent two months worrying because of a false cancer diagnosis, and because of this diagnosis, she underwent pointless and potentially harmful radiation treatment. Specifically, my wife had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer five years earlier and had had it removed. A routine scan performed at Mt. Sinai in Manhattan this past December seemed to reveal that the cancer had recurred. Despite our own doubts, my wife's physicians were unwilling to admit the possibility that the scan could produce a false positive. However, six weeks later, contrastive CT scans and ultrasound (performed at M.D. Anderson in Houston) refuted the initial diagnosis, and while unwilling to acknowledge fault in that diagnosis, the endocrinologist at M.D. Anderson made it seem quite obvious that false positives are possible.

Is anyone interested in starting some sort of forum or even a database so that we could let people know about which doctors to avoid?

Man, another really scary story. I'd love to start such a forum, but I need to give up the day job, first.

wow...i just found this web site, and now i know that misdiagnoses is more common than i thought... my dad is in the hospital right now, and they told us that he had a pulminary embalism..and started treating him for it, and had tubes in his lungs and cut a hole in his throat..(w/o our consent) and after they did that they told us it was just a bad case of phenmonia, and since they cut the whole to put him on a ventilator(which was down his throat just in case he stopped breathing) and now he is no longer able to breath on his own. not only that but he has an infection in his throat, and now due to the infections, he is at very high risk of not surviving, not only that but they still have no diagnosis

wow...i just found this web site, and now i know that misdiagnoses is more common than i thought... my dad is in the hospital right now, and they told us that he had a pulminary embalism..and started treating him for it, and had tubes in his lungs and cut a hole in his throat..(w/o our consent) and after they did that they told us it was just a bad case of phenmonia, and since they cut the whole to put him on a ventilator(which was down his throat just in case he stopped breathing) and now he is no longer able to breath on his own. not only that but he has an infection in his throat, and now due to the infections, he is at very high risk of not surviving, not only that but they still have no diagnosis

Nida, that's just awful. I hope your dad pulls through.

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