The focus of this web site is medicine. In this blog, you’ll read about patient stories. The situations have been changed to be HIPAA compliant. Factual statements may or may not be true. I may change ages, gender or presenting complaints about patients. I may even entirely make up complete patient encounters from my fertile imagination. Trust me, if you think I’m writing about you, I’m not. There are billions of people in this world and readers send me stories about patients all the time. It isn’t you.
You’ll also read a lot about health care policy. I may throw in posts about life lessons, computers, and will even throw in family stories once in a while. If you’re looking for articles about politics, sports, or celebrities, you’re in the wrong place – unless the topics have some relationship to medicine.
If you want to add a guest post or to cross-post something from your blog, or if you have a patient story you want me to write about, e-mail me. See more information in the “About Me” page.
Did I tell you how much Google sucks … BLAM! Droid phone explodes in man’s head while he is talking on phone. Emergency department overcrowding takes another life. Short of breath 41 year old Ontario patient dies while sitting in emergency department waiting room for more than 90 minutes. Waits for patients with serious conditions can reach more than 12 hours. Some admitted patients waited more than 26 hours for a hospital bed to open up. Downright scary emails from Alberta, Canada emergency physician to top Canadian political and health care leaders documenting lack of care in emergency departments. Direct link for .pdf download is here. Waits of 5.5 hours for a potential stroke victim to get a bed. No tPA for you! Another potential stroke patient leaves after five hours without seeing a physician. A nine hour wait for a patient experiencing seizures. A man dies because he needed emergency brain surgery and couldn’t get it because of “overwhelming systemic overcrowding”. A suicidal patient leaves without seeing a doctor and then returns by ambulance after overdosing on prescription medications. Another patient boarded in the emergency department for an entire week. Patients in the waiting room threatening triage nurses and “screaming that we are letting people die.” Did I mention that all those patients had national health “insurance”? Oh just cut the damn payments already. Congress staves off physician Medicare payment cuts … again. Because we’re suddenly going to find hundreds of billions of dollars to make the system solvent in the next 12 months. Next time that we have to read about the same brinksmanship and watch Congress kick the can down the road a few more months: January 2012. There’s the French Kiss, then there’s the … Sheboygan Chomp. Sheboygan, Wisconsin man ends up in emergency department after wife bites off half his tongue during kiss. The 79 year old victim noted that his 59 year old wife had been “acting strangely” for several days. No argument there. “911 … please hold.” Louisiana appellate court throws out limit on malpractice awards, stating that the law is discriminatory because lesser-injured patients receive a full payout for damages, while more severely injured patients have their damage awards limited. In this case, a child was awarded $6.2 million, but her award was decreased to the statutory maximum of $500,000. If you were a physician, would this ruling have any effect on your willingness to practice medicine in Louisiana? Georgia hospitals considers “program changes” to deal with unpaid medical care. Charity care at the Medical Center of Central Georgia increased by about $30 million in the latest year reported while uncompensated care statewide was estimated at $1.3 billion. I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just create more regulations. Meanwhile, despite lower patient volumes in 70% of hospitals across the country, according to an American Hospital Association analysis, US community hospitals provided a total of $75 billion in unpaid care in 2009 – a significant increase from prior years. A different AHA survey released the same day showed that hospitals were able to earn a 5% profit margin in 2009. “English only” or just “No Filipinos allowed”? California hospital establishes an “English only” policy for all of its workers, but then allegedly selectively enforces the policy against Filipinos while allowing Hispanic and Indian nurses to speak their native languages on the job. Now the EEOC has filed a lawsuit over the issue. Nurses have more back injuries than truck drivers and more than half of nurses have experienced violence on the job. The article describes how nurses in California have been murdered by ...Read More »