Is Good And Bad Medicine All Around You?
As you read the success stories of heart valve surgery patients (Veronika Meyer, John DeFalco, Taylor Browning, Leslie LaFayette, Raye Gilliamsen, John Turan), it is great to see that medical care can have an incredibly positive impact on heart valve disease.
However, it seems like everywhere I turn these days, reports of bad medicine are all around me. In the past few days, I’ve read or watched terrible stories about:
- Trasylol and heart surgery
- Drug administration mishaps that endangered and/or resulted in the unfortunate passing of several children
- Negligent surgical preparations alleged to be the source of Stephanie Kuleba’s recent fatality
During a 60 minutes report about Dennis Quaid’s children, I heard a troubling statistic. The actor revealed that over 100,000 hospital deaths occur each year as a result of human error. That’s more fatalities than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.
Earlier today, I was reading Forbes magazine. Consider these statistics published in the March 10 edition cover story called, “Stop That Patient”:
- One in 200 patients who spends a night or more in a hospital will die from medical error.
- One in 16 patients will pick up an infection while in the hospital.
What’s the point of this blog?
Please know… It is not to scare you – the patient or caregiver.
However, it is to echo a thought I have made several times within this website and my book. Take the time to find the best care for you. Selecting a surgeon and hospital should not be a convenient process. Please do the proper due diligence to ensure consensus about your condition and the surgical treatment required to fix your valvular disease (aortic stenosis, mitral regurgitation, etc.). That means second opinions.
As my research shows, the statistics for a successful heart valve replacement or heart valve repair are very encouraging. Let’s make sure nothing prevents your successful surgery.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.