Month: November 1999

Thousands are dying yearly from medical errors

In the past 24 hours, we have seen more than 5 major news sources publish information on this topic. Titles range from “Hospital’s errors leave dozens dead” to “Medical errors a major killer.” Several locations are offering audio and video as well as commentary on the topic so we felt it best to list all the sources here. This is your early Christmas gift from the medical profession. Go forth doctors, get your printers ready and click the links below.

Thousands dying yearly from medical errors, report says
Report says humans err too often in medicine
Medical Errors Preventable
“Medical mistakes kill anywhere from 44,000 to 98,000 hospitalized Americans a year.”
Hospital’s errors leave dozens dead
Medical errors a major killer @ 07:41 | Article ID: 943969293

M.D.’s Hot – Wire Low Backs

USA Today reports on Medicines newest techniques to relieve chronic back pain.
“Fixing serious back pain starts with determining its source, not an easy task.” Medical experts are promising new treatments, such as heating injured spinal disks with heated probes and fusing unstable bones.

Visit USA Today for the following stories:
New diagnoses for damaged disks
A lengthy list of failed techniques (for back pain) @ 15:01 | Article ID: 943909263

Prescription Drug Advertising Creating Problems

Prescription drug spots on television are becoming as common as those for Budweiser and Dodge.
The pharmaceutical industry has spent billions on print and media ads in the last year, and are expected to spend more because “drug makers want consumers to walk into the doctor’s office and ask for a drug by brand name.”
This has created conflict between medical doctors and patients with many patients requesting drugs they do not need or would not be appropriate for them.

Click the link below to load the article by Glenn Howatt at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Source: ABC News (click here for “Prescription Drugs Sold on TV”) @ 10:15 | Article ID: 943892133

Dr. Ian Grassam – In Loving Memory

On Friday morning, November 26th, Ian Grassam passed away. He fought his greatest battle, against cancer, and finally decided to give it up and leave us in body and soul, to go home to be with our Heavenly Father.

He was one of the greatest warriors and teachers for principled chiropractic. He fought political battles for principled chiropractic, and won most in Michigan and Florida. Ian was often the chosen one when there was a challenge to debate our principles with M.D.s or political opponents.

Through D.E., I’ve known Ian for 23 years. There was standing room only whenever he took the platform to give his message. He always held his audience spellbound.

I’ll always remember Ian for his unique rhetorical expression and verbal pictures that were so clear. He pierced the listeners heart like a double-edged sword. His powerful mannerisms and gestures as he spoke to his audience; walking to the front edge of the stage and leaning forward to look eye to eye with each one of the hundreds and sometimes thousands, and making his challenge for us to “serve harder, give more of our heart and soul, and love every minute of life doing it, for the sake of God and the patients”. Ian was awesome.

I am so grateful that God created us in His image in body, mind and spirit. Thank God that through His Holy Spirit, the spirit of Ian Grassam will live on in the hearts and actions of millions by the way he touched their lives. I feel certain that in their own way his children will carry their dad’s torch. Rest assured Ian, many will carry the torch you lit.

You know, when Ian spoke to an audience, I don’t recall him yelling and screaming to make his point, until the end of his talks. And then, not yelling, but in a most powerful way, from the depths of his soul he would end his talks with: “Free at last, free at last. Thank God, Almighty, I’m free at last.” Glory to God, Ian you are free at last.

Until another time, we’ll miss you.
Rick Hodish, D.C.

In Lieu of flowers, please send donations to Life University,
1269 Barclay Circle
Marietta, Georgia, 30060
in care of “The Ian Grassam Fund”

Each of us has been touched by Ian in so many ways. The role he has played in what I do today is immeasurable. I share with you the best way that I know how.
A message from Ian
You must have a realplayer in order to hear this audio.
Love Michael @ 09:23 | Article ID: 943889027

Medical doctor charged with diluting children’s vaccines

A Medical doctor in California has been charged with cruelty to children for allegedly using saline solution to dilute vaccines for hepatitis, polio, diphtheria and other diseases.

The Doctor was investigated after one of his nurses reported discrepancies in the serum levels in vaccine vials last spring, according to an affidavit filed in superior court. The Food and Drug Administration confirmed the vaccines had been diluted, the affidavit said.

The Doctor denied the charges and will defend against them. The District Attorney refused to comment on a possible motive and authorities believe he had been diluting vaccines since 1997.

Any money the doctor would have saved would be insignificant since the practice vaccinates 35 to 40 children a year. There may well likely have been another motive than money.

The Doctor faces charges of three felonies and one misdemeanor, including a count of willful cruelty to children. @ 07:45 | Article ID: 943623959

5 Major HMOs Targeted in Class-Action Suits

The Los Angeles Times reported today that five of the nation’s largest HMOs face new lawsuits accusing them of failing to provide promised health care to 32 million customers, according to published reports.

HMOs named in the suits are Pacificare Health Systems Inc., Foundation Health Systems Inc., Cigna Healthcare, Prudential Health Care and Humana Inc.

The suits seek class-action status on behalf of 32 million people whose health care is provided by the companies.

The suits were filed by a group of lawyers led by Richard Scruggs, who led lawsuits filed by states against the tobacco industry that resulted in billions in settlements.

“We’re acting today to fix the broken promises the HMO industry has made to the people who entrust their very lives to these companies,” Scruggs said.

The lawsuits allege HMOs offer bonuses to physicians who restrict patients’ access to expensive procedures, treatments and tests.

Health plan stock prices have plunged recently as state and federal lawmakers increased regulation of HMOs and public opinion toward the industry soured. There are now at least nine recent class-action suits alleging violations of federal law by managed health plans. @ 10:21 | Article ID: 943460502

College Meningitis campaign: Why?

Due to the latest federal recommendations, colleges have been mounting a widening attack on meningococcal meningitis this fall with health advisories, educational campaigns and vaccination clinics.

The latest studies suggest that only a few meningitis deaths might be avoided even if all students were vaccinated. Some health authorities wonder if they could do better for students by working against more common college scourges like drunken driving or sexually transmitted diseases.

Milton Weinstein, a risk expert at the Harvard School of Public Health has chosen to let his own 18 year old son go to college without the vaccine.

A spokesperson for the company making the vaccine says it is 90 percent effective against 70 percent of college cases. For other cases, it has no effect.

The reason behind some colleges requiring a meningitis vaccine may be due to the more than $90 million in malpractice claims made against colleges between 1985 and 1997.

Are the colleges looking for the best health and welfare of their students or themselves? @ 08:50 | Article ID: 943368606

New OSHA rules address ergonomics injuries

OSHA plans to propose new rules regarding recommended standards for repetitive stress injuries.

Among OSHA’s plans, employers would have to correct injury-causing workplace conditions that require repetitive motion, overexertion or awkward posture.

OSHA reports that 1.8 million workers have musculoskeletal injuries related to ergonomic factors and 600,000 people miss some work because of them.

Injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons include such problems as carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and tendinitis.

Under OSHA’s new rules, a worker who has an ergonomic injury diagnosed by a doctor would be entitled to have the work environment fixed to relieve the cause – by changing the height of an assembly line or computer keyboard, for example.

Proposed rules would not become final until next year at the earliest, after a public comment period.

These plans have already been long delayed by opposition from business groups and some lawmakers who are concerned about the cost and have protested that there is not enough scientific evidence proving that ergonomic problems at work cause injury. @ 11:58 | Article ID: 943293539

UK launches plan to beat hospital “superbugs”

From London – British health officials have announced plans to set new hygiene standards for hospitals to combat the spread of so-called “superbugs.”

According to the Department of Health, the new guidelines are aimed at fighting hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, which are resistant to some antibiotics.

“Elderly people, the very young and those who have had major operations can all find themselves seriously ill as a result of these bugs” said junior health minister John Denham.

Infections like MRSA have been dubbed “superbugs” because of their resistance to some antibiotics.

In the United States, doctors estimate as many as 70 percent of the bacteria in infections people acquire in hospitals are now resistant to at least one antibiotic. @ 11:49 | Article ID: 943292989

Ritalin as Last Resort?

Colorado Discourages ADHD Drugs – Educators Buck Treatment Trend

Jillian Lloyd, Christian Science Monitor – Colorado’s education board is now urging schools to rely more on effective classroom discipline and less on medication for unruly kids, and the move has catapulted the state to the forefront of an intense debate over the use of behavioral drugs for school-age children.
The statement was prompted by news that student gunmen in several mass school shootings were taking psychiatric drugs – and it marks the first time a government body has officially registered concern about the growing prevalence of such prescriptions among U.S. youths.
Not surprising, the decision by the Colorado Board of Education has sent shock waves through the medical community. To many, the move seems a desperate attempt to explain the recent rash of school violence, based more in hysteria than common sense.
To board members and their supporters, however, the one-page document represents a shift in attitude toward drugs such as Ritalin, Prozac, and Luvox – and a new unwillingness to put schools in the position of influencing parents to medicate hard-to-control kids.

Influenced by School Shootings
They also acknowledge that the recent spate of school shootings influenced the decision. One of the Columbine High School gunmen had been taking Luvox, and student shooters in Springfield, Ore., Jonesboro, Ark., Pearl, Miss., Paducah, Ky., and Conyers, Ga., were reported to have been on that or other drugs.
“People are on pins and needles about this,” says William Moloney, state commissioner of education. “We don’t know if there’s a link to school violence. But we’re taking the radical step of saying that maybe someone might want to look at this.”

Prescribed for Nonexistent Problem?
Such medications have become a part of daily life for an estimated 6 million American schoolchildren. Most often, the drugs are administered when a child is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The American Medical Association considers ADHD a legitimate disorder that can be treated effectively with medication.
But critics assert that ADHD is at best overdiagnosed and, at worst, nonexistent. The primary treatment for ADHD, Ritalin, has been administered to America’s youths for 50 years, but its use has tripled in the past five years.

Toddlers Too?
Meanwhile, a recent study at the Michigan State University in East Lansing revealed that both Ritalin and Prozac were being prescribed to toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3. And a study in New York found that boys of color are 11 times more likely to be on medication than is the general student body.
Against this backdrop, many parents complain schools pressure them to medicate their children for disruptive behavior, and some are applauding Colorado’s resolution, a nonbinding measure with no legal effect.
“Educators see Ritalin as something that’s going to make their lives easier, rather than making modifications in their classroom,” says one Colorado parent, who requested anonymity. “The problem is that the drug robs these kids of their personality. They become these quiet little robots.”

Source: ABCNews @ 16:26 | Article ID: 943050367