Sunday, June 29, 2014

More Scandal: Military Hospitals Also Suck

And some idiots out there think that the government should run health care, but if they cannot even handle the VA and military hospitals, why should be given the responsibility of everyone's health care?
From the Minneapolis Tribune: Jessica Zeppa, five months pregnant, the wife of a soldier, showed up four times at Reynolds Army Community Hospital here in pain, weak and fighting a fever. The last time, she said she was not leaving until she could get warm.
Without reviewing her file, nurses sent her home anyway, with an appointment to see an oral surgeon to extract her wisdom teeth.
Zeppa returned the next day, in an ambulance. She was airlifted to a civilian hospital, where despite relentless efforts to save her and her baby, she suffered a miscarriage and died Oct. 22, 2010, of complications from severe sepsis, a bodywide infection.
Medical experts hired by her family said later that she most likely would have survived had the medical staff at Reynolds properly diagnosed and treated her....
The Zeppa case is emblematic of persistent lapses in protecting patients that emerged from an examination of the nation’s military hospitals, the hub of a sprawling medical network — entirely separate from the scandal-plagued veterans system — that cares for 1.6 million active-duty service members and their families.
Internal documents depict a system in which scrutiny is sporadic and avoidable errors are chronic.
Records indicate that the mandated safety investigations often go undone: From 2011 to 2013, medical workers reported 239 unexpected deaths, but only 100 inquiries were forwarded to the Pentagon’s patient-safety center, where analysts recommend how to improve care.
Higher complication rates
At the same time, by several measures considered crucial barometers of patient safety, the military system has consistently had higher than expected rates of harm and complications in two central parts of its business — maternity care and surgery.
More than 50,000 babies are born at military hospitals each year, and they are twice as likely to be injured during delivery as newborns nationwide, the most recent statistics show. And their mothers were more likely to hemorrhage after childbirth than mothers at civilian hospitals, according to a 2012 Pentagon analysis.
In surgery, half of the system’s 16 largest hospitals had higher than expected rates of complications over a recent 12-month period, the American College of Surgeons found in 2013. Four of the busiest hospitals have done poorly on that metric year after year.
Just say no to single payer/socialized health care.

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