HOSPITAL SURVIVAL

By Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© March 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.

 

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.

 

At times, one needs to go into the hospital.  Indeed, some surgery is amazing.  However, hospitals are not safe places to go.  This article can help you to make your hospital visit safer.

 

I. THE PROBLEMS WITH HOSPITALS

 

HOSPITAL INFECTIONS

 

Today, 772,000 people contract an infection in the hospital every year.  About 75,000 people die each year from these infections.

These infections come from poorly sterilized reusable equipment, and sometimes from nurses and doctors not washing their hands enough before touching equipment or touching you.  They can come from other breaches of cleanliness.  In addition, many germs are floating around hospitals due to the number of sick people there, and so this, itself, is a problem.

What is worse is that overuse of antibiotics has spawned a host of antibiotic-resistant germs, and these are not easily killed.

 

MISTAKES INVOLVING DRUGS AND PROCEDURES

 

All hospitals make an effort to reduce errors, oversights and other mistakes involving medication.  However, errors can and do occur.  The problems are:

1. Drug medicine, by nature, is dangerous.  An overdose of some drugs easily can kill a person, especially one weakened by an illness. This is very different from nutritional therapy, for example.  It is one reason I much prefer nutritional therapy.

2. Many nurses work 12-hour shifts, which is too long for anyone.  In addition, many of them do not eat well and are not in good health.  Both these facts increase the chances of mistakes.

3. Many doctors also work long hours, and do not eat well and are not in good health.  This also increases the chances for errors.

 

DEFENSIVE MEDICINE

 

 This is the use of tests, procedures and even drugs and operations solely to satisfy the hospital or doctorÕs legal team.  In other words, they are not medically necessary, but they are used or done to protect the doctor or hospital from possible lawsuits in the future.

Defensive medicine is now integrated into modern medical care.  Unless you are an expert, you probably will never be able to figure it all out.  Long gone are the days when the doctor is responsible mainly to you, and to no one else.  Now, they must live by the dictates of their medical boards, their attorneys, their hospital rules, and perhaps rules set up by insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid.

One can argue that these rules are set up to protect the patients.  However, anything that gets in the way of the doctorÕs direct responsibility to his patient tends to reduce, not enhance the quality of care.  Too often the rules are to reduce hospital or insurance company costs, legally protect them and not you, and are set up for their convenience, not yours.

This is important because the more tests, the more x-rays, the more drugs and procedures that you must go through, the more likely you are to experience a mistake, catch an infection, or suffer in some other way.

 

II. WHAT TO DO

 

PREVENTION

 

This is by far the best answer.  If possible, stay out of hospitals.  The best way to do this that I know of is to take excellent care of your health with a nutritional balancing program.  In this way, you can avoid many diseases, operations and the need for procedures such as colonoscopies.  This is by far the best answer to the problems of hospitals today.

 

STAY IN CHARGE

 

You are in charge when you enter a hospital.  But you must exercise this right.  Do not just do what you are told.  Ask questions!  Then ask more questions, especially before proceeding with any procedure or operation.  Most people do not realize this.

 

HAVE AN ADVOCATE WITH YOU

 

An advocate is a friend or family member, usually, who hands around the hospital when you are there and checks things.  They check the chart, the medication, the IV bottles, and everything to do with your case.  That is their job.

I donÕt know if professional advocates are available if you donÕt have a family member or friend who can help with this task.

 

CHECK THE SAFETY RECORD OF YOUR HOSPITAL BEFORE ENTERING

 

Some hospitals are much safer than others.  In the References below is a website where you can check the safety of various hospitals.

 

AN EXCELLENT BOOK

 

            A book on this subject is Hospitals And Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide To A Shorter, Safer Hospital Stay.  This book contains many tips about hospitals that can be most helpful.

 

References

 

á              i Hospitals and Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide to a Shorter, Safer Hospital Stay

á              ii HealthGrades 2011 Healthcare Consumerism and Hospital Quality in America Report

á              iii US Health care costs, KaiserEdu.org

á              iv "A July Effect in Fatal Medication Errors: A Possible Effect of New Medical Residents,"Journal of General Internal Medicine, August 2010: 25(8); 774-779

 

 

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