Halloween is coming, fright night. We all like to get a little scared now and then. But I wish the fear that I feel only came one night a year. However, it doesn't, it comes every single day of the year and it scares the bejesus out of me. These facts are all found on sites on the internet, I am not making them up in any way. So get ready to get the crap scared out of you.
One million seven hundred thousand people each and every year will acquire a nosocomial infection. This is a bacterial or fungal infection that a person gets while in the hospital. Approximately 99,000 people will die from these infections. This is an annual estimate for the US by the CDC. These infections affect the urinary system, cause pneumonia, destroy the broncho/nasal systems and a whole host of other systems. And the worst part is now the prevelance of MRSA, or rather antibiotic resistant bacteria. Hospitals are the PRIMARY cause of the transmission of these new and incredibly dangerous new strains of bacteria. I personally am just one case of having contracted MRSA during a hospital stay. Good luck asking them to fix it. It has no cure and they will only try if you have really good insurance.
Next on the list of Frightening Happenings that cause death in the night is drug interactions and mis-prescribed drugs. 2.2 million people have severe adverse reactions to drugs, and over 105,00 die annually. When in hospitals. This has nothing to do with drug recalls or adverse side effects of drugs that drug companies and the FDA only find out about AFTER they are approved to be sold to the American public. Again, this is something that happened to me, when in the hospital for my second pulmonary embolism, I was given 3 different drugs and developed pancreatitis. A nurse told me they should not have prescribed that combination as it could do such. I went ahead and looked it up on Drug.com and sure enough, that was the one thing that the site said could happen if you took those three. Hmmm. Oh well.
I want to take a moment here to talk a bit about Plavix. This is a drug that is used to prevent strokes and now pulmonary embolisms. Something that I survived four episodes of. The standard treatment for this has been coumadin. An actual compound that was used as a rat poison as it tasted good, the rats ate it and then they died a slow death by bleeding internally. So some one thought that would be a good thing to save lives. I took it for three years, most of my hair fell out, I still have scars on my arms and legs from the CONTINUOUS bruising that occurred just from simple light bumps. When I found out that Plavix would replace Coumadin, I was happy. Then I found out about all the deaths from it. With a little further research, I discovered that Plavix reduced the risk of stroke in patients down to 6.78 per 100,000 people. Then, I found that taking one baby aspirin a day would drop the risk of stroke to 6.97 per 100,000 people. And a very low possibility of death, unlike Plavix. And at about 10 cents an aspirin, 600 times cheaper. I no longer take Coumadin, I take an aspirin every day.
Next scary death knell, Iatrogenic Events. Fancy word for just plain accidental deaths due to medical intervention. About 2 million reported events resulting in an annual death rate of about 230,000.
So, what does all this mean. Well, first off, this is only part of the list. There are lots of other minor things causing deaths in hospitals. But the whole thing boils down to this one thing. And it is pretty important: THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH IN AMERICA TODAY IS MODERN MEDICAL PRACTICES. Sends a shiver down my spine. And you know, I really really am lucky to have survived my treatments by modern medicine, I am lucky to wake up every morning.
Take precautions everyone, ask questions of your doctor, look up your meds online to verify they won't cause more harm than any possible good they MAY do for you. And ask, ask, ask, ask, and ask again. If they think you are taking an interest in your care, they might not practice on you.