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Government Report Details CHI St. Luke's Hospital Lack of Infection Prevention

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Damning Government Investigation and Report Details Serious Safety Lapses at CHI St. Luke’s, Houston, TexasPatients received medications that weren’t ordered by doctors; objects were mistakenly left in patients after surgery; and ultrasound probes were reused without being property disinfected, government inspectors found. The hospital says it is fixing the problems.https://www.propublica.org/…/st-lukes-in-houston-blistering…
Yuck, cleaning a transvaginal transducer with tap water and paper towels??! Sad, St. Luke's used to be a respected hospital. In an interview conducted on 3/27/19 at 10:10 am, Staff#122 was asked by the surveyor how she was disinfecting the transvaginal transducers. She stated, "I just run them under the tap water and wipe them off with a paper towel."

5 Things You Need to know about Preventable Newborn Brain Injuries

5 Things You Need to Know about Preventable Newborn Brain Injuries
What is HIE?
HIE stands for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy(now you see why its abbreviation is easier). HIE is a type of newborn brain damage, due to oxygen deprivation and limited blood flow during labor and delivery. It can happen because of a problem with mom’s placenta, an umbilical cord being compressed or knotted, a baby getting stuck or wedged in the mom’s pelvis, preeclampsia, or too much stimulation of the mom’s uterus from Pitocin or another drug like Cytotec, to name a few causes.
Will you see HIE in your baby immediately?
Some obvious signs that baby was injured at delivery include the baby being limp, pale, blue, not crying, needing to be intubated or requiring CPR, transfer to NICU, failure to feed, unable to be calmed, seizures, just as a few examples. The full extent of the damage isn’t apparent immediately at birth for a few reasons. The reason is, a brain injury from HIE is an evolving process. Damage f…

5 Things You Need to Know About Preventing Blood Clots in the Hospital

1.How frequently is this happening at the hospital? A global study has shown that 52% of patients are at risk for dangerous blood clots. WOW, that’s a huge percentage. If a blood clot isn’t detected, you can die. How you ask?A blood clot can break away from your leg and get stuck in your lung. If nothing is done, this often results in death.

2.Why do they happen in hospitalized patients? Hospitalized patients are at risk mainly after surgery as they are immobilized and laying in a hospital bed for an extended period of time. Immobility causes blood flow in the legs to be slow. Slow moving blood is more likely to clot than normal flowing blood.
3.How can nurses and doctors prevent them in the hospital? Nurses and doctors are crucial in compliance and being educated in patient care. The hospital’s solution to the problem needs to be blood thinners or compression socks/SCDS in these types of situations. In a study I read, 10-14% of patients weren’t receiving the necessary treatment ordered b…

Preventable Hospital Error the Third Leading Cause of Death

The Journal of Patient Safety has a new study out showing that approximately 440,000 deaths per year can be attributed to preventable hospital error...NYT has the full analysis: Until very recently, health care experts believed that preventable hospital error caused some 98,000 deaths a year in the United States — a figure based on 1984 data. But a new report from the Journal of Patient Safety using updated data holds such error responsible for many more deaths — probably around some 440,000 per year. That’s one-sixth of all deaths nationally, making preventable hospital error the third leading cause of death in the United States. And 10 to 20 times that many people suffer nonlethal but serious harm as a result of hospital mistakes.  ...
“Do you as an American have the right to know if the hospital down the street left an object in a patient?” said Binder. “That information has now been taken out of the hands of the consumer by lobbyists. We should always tilt towards transparency.”

A Sad State of Affairs in the Texas "Safety Net"

Being poor or uninsured in Texas means you get left behind to die...not that it should surprise anyone...a well-written article by a Texas doctor who is in the trenches daily trying to heal people with no support from our great state.
But UTMB is no longer the state-subsidized charity hospital it used to be. The changes began before Hurricane Ike in 2008. But after the storm, UTMB administrators drastically cut charity care and moved clinics to the mainland, where there are more paying patients. The old motto “Here for the Health of Texas” was replaced by “Working together to work wonders.” Among those wonders are a new surgical tower and a plan to capitalize on Galveston’s semi-tropical charm by attracting wealthy healthcare tourists from abroad. Medical care for the poor is not, apparently, among the wonders. Whereas UTMB accepted 77 percent of charity referrals in 2005, it was only taking 9 percent in 2011.UTMB ascribes these changes to financial strain from Hurricane Ike, the coun…

"The Worst Surgeon I've Ever Seen"

Thank God this surgeon has finally lost his license...no comfort to the patients he maimed or killed though: Physicians who complained about Duntsch to the Texas Medical Board and to the hospitals he worked at described his practice in superlative terms. They used phrases like “the worst surgeon I’ve ever seen.” One doctor I spoke with, brought in to repair one of Duntsch’s spinal fusion cases, remarked that it seemed Duntsch had learned everything perfectly just so he could do the opposite. Another doctor compared Duntsch to Hannibal Lecter three times in eight minutes. Enforcement by the Texas Medical Board can only make things better--bad doctors only hurt and kill patients...and make things more difficult for good doctors...the Texas Observer has a well-written piece about the lack of enforcement.  Hopefully things will change for the better before more innocent patients are maimed or killed: Public Citizen concluded that the board moves slowly because it’s understaffed and underf…

President Lincoln was a Great Trial Lawyer

Nice to see the courage from UH law student Benjamin Kemmyto highlight the hypocrisy of tort "reformers" in Texas...and the greatness of our 16th President--a great trial lawyer.
My favorite example is the 1857 case, Macready v. City of Alton. Mary Macready, a New York actress, was walking down the street in Alton, Ill., and fell through some sidewalk construction and badly injured her ankle, leg and back. Lincoln demanded $20,000 but was only able to recover $300 at a jury trial. Imagine that! Not more than four years before he began prosecuting the war to save the Union, the Great Emancipator was prosecuting a simple P.I. case! But if you know a little bit about Lincoln, and you’re a not a member of Texans for Lawsuit Reform, that shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Lincoln, a true lover of the American justice system, had great respect for its foundational practice—the trial by jury. Juries, as Lincoln well knew, are one of the indispensible features of self-governme…