Thursday, August 11, 2011


You know those old sayings that 'hospitals are the most dangerous places in the world"? Or "stay away from too many Doctor visits or they will find something wrong with you"?

I have always believed that to be the truth and my advice to any patient and their loved ones, is to be extremely proactive, aggressive about every piece of your medical care, whether it is in a Doctors office, Mental Health Practitioner, or at a Hospital.

I share these facts with you not to scare you but to educate and make as many people aware that YOU are the person ultimately in charge of YOUR medical care WITH your medical provider.

Don't be passive and assume that the very best will be done for you or that " Good Lovin" as the Rascals sang in their their great song will be enough to heal you.

                    GOOD LOVIN

Whether it is a "simple" examination, procedure, or highly complex, always ask questions. Take a written list that you have prepared before, of what you want to ask, into your appointment, then ask each question, if you are unable to do so, have someone else ask the questions, write down the answers, about every aspect of your medical care, from the tiniest unusual looking pill being given to you, to the actual touching of your body for examination, and suggested procedures.

Always get a second opinion from a medical provider not involved with the same medical practice, preferably not even from the same hospital affiliation, if it involves a medical surgical procedure, or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable about going ahead with what you have been advised.

This is your body and before anyone messes with it, you need to be as certain as you can be, that the advice being given to you is in your best interest.

If the medical provider does not want to answer your questions or has no time to answer, fire him or her, and find yourself one that does. You wouldn't allow dismissive behavior from your auto mechanic, or when buying a computer, why would you allow it for something more important, your own health or that of a loved one.

Some of my best friends are the Doctors who are in charge of my own medical care. They are special human beings who I have worked long and hard to find. None of them are afraid of my asking as many questions as I want, and all are very much aware that they do not have the "god like" answers that a large amount of their colleagues claim to possess. I trust them with my life and they view me as Jerry, a human being, that is the way each person/medical provider ideally should feel in the "business" of medical care.

My "Jerry" theory about medical providers from all the fields involving human care, is that they are no different than the dysfunctional people we are subjected to in every messed up system that we interact with in modern society.

My theory regarding these medical human care providers is that 10 % are incompetent and will eventually kill you regardless of whether you're proactive or not about your medical care. 80% of Doctors are mediocre and are capable of eventually killing you whether you're proactive or not about your medical care. The other 10% are the highest rated Doctors, they are very competent, but unless you are proactive about your medical care, they may accidentally kill you.

By the way, medical providers when it comes to medical errors are equal opportunity care givers, they will kill or injure their own colleagues as often as a regular patient.

Hospitals often have a way to make their errors and mistakes disappear or suddenly read in the medical files very differently than what has in fact truly happened. I have always believed that and every year we read reports of the many thousands of known deaths, injuries, caused by hospital/medical errors but I suspect that is the very tip of the iceberg, as there are likely many hundreds of thousands medical errors that remain unreported which injure and kill patients, also known as human beings to the rest of us.

As an example California State health officials are expressing skepticism about the reports filed by dozens of California hospitals they have not had a single significant medial error involving a patient in the past three years. 

Since the law took effect, 87 of the state’s 418 hospitals have reported no significant errors, the  L.A. Times reported Sunday. Jamie Court, president of the Santa Monica-based group Consumer Advocate says such a large number of error-free hospitals, more than 20 percent, is "almost inconceivable".

It is an accepted estimated figure by the medical profession that close to 100,000 people die each year in the USA from medical errors made in hospitals. It is likely that this figure is much too low and that at least 200,000 deaths or more are caused by Hospital Errors in the USA.

The Texas Medical Institute of Technology also estimates that at least, 200,000 human beings die each year from preventable medical errors and countless more are injured.

Don Berwick, administrator for the Centers for Medicare And Medicaid Services Dangers of hospital negligence, said "As many as one in seven, maybe even one in three of every hospital admission or patients are injured by the care that's supposed to help them".

This week we are informed by A RECENT STUDY that there is actually a great deal of truth, and much, much more to the manner in which Hospitals  Doctors, harm, injure, kill their patients.

Medical errors and the problems they can cause — including bed sores, post-op infections and implant or device complications — cost the U.S. economy $19.5 billion in 2008, according to a study released today.

The study, commissioned by the Society of Actuaries and carried out by the actuarial and consulting firm Milliman, is based on insurance claims data. The cost estimate includes medical costs, costs associated with increased mortality rate and lost productivity, and covers what the authors describe as a conservative estimate of 1.5 million measurable errors. The report estimates the errors caused more than 2,500 avoidable deaths and over 10 million lost days of work.

A couple of things make this study stand apart from previous studies (including this one, or this one), Jim Toole, the chairman of the SOA’s project oversight group, who proposed the study a few years ago. First, the sample size is bigger, starting with a data set of 24 million people. It also used control groups to calculate the cost-of-care differential between a patient who sustained an error-caused injury and a similar patient who wasn’t injured.

And finally, says Toole, these were neutral data, collected for another reason, which means they’re less subject to bias than data aggregated for the sole purpose of counting errors.

Toole also says "We have wonderful information in this country about automobile safety and how in the last 20 years we’ve reduced highway deaths by 35% … but we have no starting point for medical errors or injuries"

According to the World Health Organization," Millions of people die each year from medical errors and infections linked to health care and going into hospitals. If You Were Admitted Into A Hospital In Any Country Tomorrow Your Chances Are 1 In 10 to Be Subject to an error in your care. Your chances of dying due to an error in health care would be 1 in 300".

You have only one life. There are no do overs for you if someone who is supposed to help, screws up instead. 

Ask my dead son Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff and many more hundreds of thousands of other dead human beings who had no one there to protect them and trusted that they were being medically aided properly by competent professionals, but were killed instead by the incompetence on the part of those very same licensed medical providers who were there supposedly to help save their lives . 

The dead can't answer, because dead means forever.

Did I get your attention? I hope so!