See more health news from around the web on the Satellite Edition of this week’s update over at ER Stories.net.
The “Valentine’s Day Massacre” – healthcare budget style. Cook County Hospital system in Chicago slashes nursing staff in its hospitals. Oak Forest hospital will fire more than 100 nurses, leaving it with only 27 nurses. Provident Hospital will cut 37 nurses, leaving it with 67 nurses. In addition, Provident Hospital begins refusing patients by ambulance. The hospital had planned to divert all ambulances last month, but postponed its plans to give other area hospitals time to prepare for the almost 5,000 extra patients each year.
One Chicago alderman asks “How far are we going to reduce the value of people’s lives?”
57 year old man walks into South Carolina emergency department … and shoots himself in the head.
“Doctor drain” from New York (with many physicians heading to Texas) attributed to high insurance premiums and high litigation costs. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a keynote speech at the New York State Bar Association’s Presidential Summit and noted how states with lower malpractice premiums are attracting more doctors from states with higher medical malpractice premiums such as New York. He even interviewed several physicians who left New York for Texas and who stated that their reason for leaving was because of high insurance premiums.
The president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association called Mayor Bloomberg’s speech a “surprise attack rooted in bad data.” After all, who knows more about how how the system should be working than a group who has a vested interest in keeping the status quo?
Trial lawyers looking to “protect [their] gravy train” by releasing “primer” on medical malpractice lawsuits.
More patients gone wild. Montana man brings gun to hospital emergency department looking to “shoot people from child protective services.” Taken into custody in the waiting room and gets a room at the Greybar Motel until he can come up with $100,000 bond.
California man requests that police officers come to the emergency department so that he can “confess something.” After they arrive, the patient tries to grab one of the officers’ guns. Get him a room with the guy from Montana.
You had your chance to get vaccinated. Influenza cases packing emergency departments. At one North Carolina hospital, patients with influenza symptoms are waiting 15 hours to be seen because of the increase in number of patients.
Estate of New Mexico patient wins $10.3 million at trial after patient developed bedsores on his heels after being admitted to hospital for several weeksl. He later died of unrelated causes. The award included $9.75 million in punitive damages.
Child awarded $19.2 million after being given 100 times the dose of nutrients after she was born which allegedly led to a cardiac arrest and other “severe complications.”
13 year old patient wins $1.4 million settlement after developing anaphylactic reaction to allergy shots and ending up brain damaged.
Canadian hospital shuts down emergency services for the weekend because of nursing and radiology tech shortage. The next closest hospitals are more than 100 kilometers away.
Canadian emergency physicians take video footage of conditions in the emergency department and post it to YouTube when they can’t get administration to respond to problems such as mold growth, overcrowding, and outdated equipment. Doctors began complaining about the conditions in 2004. Suddenly, the Canadian health minister reported that fixing the problems is now a “priority.” Hat tip to Grunt Doc.