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Let's Talk About Health Care
And How It Costs U.S.
Sadly, true cost is not all in money.
Medical Mistakes Cause 440,000 deaths annually!It's not my numbers, read the story at CNBC.
Recently I visited with a woman I have known for several years. She works for the Veterans Hospital. I don't see her often, but she has always been the happiest person. Visiting this time, June 2016, I found her still grieving over the loss of her "beautiful husband." He was taken from her prematurely because of a botched liver surgery. Her loss is not public. He was not added to a body count on the nightly news so that others could be warned to watch for signs of possible medical mistakes.I made this connection because I'd just been watching the news and had been saddened by the obvious grief of those who had lost their loved ones at the hands of a wild, crazy shooter. My acquaintance's grief is as sad and real as the grief of loved ones, friends and colleagues affected by the "mass" shootings that we see sensationalized on the TV. Yes, even just TV viewers like me are affected.
We are shocked by gun violence because it is put in our face by our TV media which often makes it the focus of our day, for many days in a row.
Wouldn't we be just as sad, if we were presented with the grief of family members who have lost the life of their loved one because of a medical mistake? I think it would affect us all, if it were presented in the same manner as the shooting tragedies.
Only individuals that know her will experience her loss. In this respect, she is not alone. A huge number of people are affected by losing their loved ones in a hospital setting. Many die needlessly, others are left with lifetime injuries, but there is no sensationalized news on the TV about them. Sometimes a story comes up, but it doesn't stay on the news radar. We don't hear hours of assessment of why, how and who else is involved. The most notable demonstration of this sort of loss is displayed at televised sports games.
As the camera pans across the stadium, think of all the people who stand up with cards saying who they have lost to cancer. It seems to be nearly everyone. Reasons come to mind why these may intertwine ~ medical errors and cancer are connected ~ but that will require more examination and another story. The answers are out there on the Internet.
So, I want to know. Where is the public outrage about the thousands who die EVERY DAY from medical mistakes? We already know that thousands go bankrupt because of medical bills, and those costs are horrendous, tragic, and needless as well as shameful. CNBC again has the news on this issue.
But don't take my word for it. Google it. I did, before I wrote this article. One of the web sites that stood out from the others with some of the best data, is this one: Your place to go for a Safety Score on your hospital, 2013Other interesting sources:
Your Health Care May Kill You: Medical Errors NPR: Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say Letter from John Hopkins, Surgery Dept. Requesting Change in Data Collection Method to CDC, May 2016
Bridget E. Smith, editor, 6.22.2016/edited 2.19.2018, 10.8.2018, 1.3.2020, 2.15.2020
Artwork provided by Historical Gazette Data Archives
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