Medical Errors. Medicine sample

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It is a well-known fact that the US health care is one of the most expensive in the world. Today, when combining the expenditure on medical sphere of ten biggest countries like Germany, Japan, China, Canada, the UK, etc. is much less than in the US. In spite of this unbelievable fact, the USA cannot be proud of the quality of its medicine. Unfortunately, it takes the 17th place among the highly developed countries. Studies have shown that the US system of treatment in the surgical sphere is perfect; however, a situation with treating chronic diseases is an absolute failure. This is what Dr. Marcola can say about medicine in the USA:

"There is always free cheese in a mouse trap…Conventional medicine, which is focused on diagnostic tests, drugs, and surgical interventions for most ills, clearly kills more people than it saves. The lethality of the system is in part due to side effects, whether “expected” or not. But preventable errors also account for an absolutely staggering number of deaths. According to the most recent research into the cost of medical mistakes in terms of lives lost, 210,000 Americans are killed by preventable hospital errors each year…This is more than 4.5 times higher than 1999 estimates published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), 2 and makes medical errors the third-leading cause of death in the US, right after heart disease and cancer."

All these facts definitely have reasons which led the US medicine to this state. To understand what goes wrong, one should find out the points that break the US system of treatment. Here are some of the most important ones.

The main thing they teach doctors in America: “Medicine is a business of saving lives”. Unfortunately, the keyword in this statement is "business." In the United States, the principle that controls doctors is “cost-effectiveness”, which means that the doctor thinks what is more profitable – to make the analysis now or when the problems begin.

Doctors are not the ones who set the rules in the medical industry. This part is carried out by various associations, pharmaceutical companies, and companies that sell medical equipment. The health care industry in the United States is a multibillion-dollar business that significantly exceeds military spending. For example, the pharmaceutical industry is fighting for a law that prohibits buying the same drugs in Canada where it is 50% cheaper than in the USA.

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Another significant problem is that about 40 million of Americans do not have health insurance. Until recently, it was necessary to have car insurance, but the purchase of health insurance is voluntary and based on the wishes and financial possibilities of people. The problem with the lack of such insurance is that somehow periodically medical care is necessary for everyone. According to federal law, if one suffers from appendicitis and comes to the emergency department, he/she have the right to get treatment regardless of the availability of insurance. It is clear that the cost of treating uninsured people falls on the hospital (if a patient lives below the official poverty threshold). As a result, hospital system loses billions of dollars, since the poor start to use the emergency room as a clinic.

All kinds of expensive medical care are often appointed only for the benefit to dislodge maximum money from patients. Doctors are not interested in curing a patient, because it deprives them of income. That is why there are many situations where the victims are trying to get back the money wasted on unnecessary "treatment”, which not only makes bankrupts out of the huge number of people, but can terminate disability or death. For example, a similar case was described in December 2004 by Reuters. Tenet Health care representatives said that the company was willing to pay $ 395 million to the patients who claimed that the medical center company in California performed unnecessary heart surgery.

Americans are relatively rich people and, moreover, they are optimistic. Nevertheless, 37 % of citizens of this country are worrying about the high cost of medical services and medicines. In 2009, due to the high cost of medications, nearly 15 % of American households did not take drugs which were prescribed by doctors. The USA is the country where drugs are constantly getting more expensive (and especially they went up over the years of President Bush). The reason is the significant investment in research that is made by pharmaceutical companies. Paradoxically, the more advanced the drug is, the less it can help patients, because they simply cannot buy it. The average waiting period in the U.S. emergency rooms is 7 hours. If a patient is taken to the hospital by ambulance, the current procedure requires him/her to register first, and then a nurse spends superficial examination to determine the complexity of the situation. After this procedure, the patient can wait for hours for examination by a doctor. If it is either required to pass tests or X-rays, the waiting time can take more than 12 hours. This conclusion was made by experts of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The reason for these delays is immense overcrowding in emergency rooms.

Every year, 98 thousand patients die in the U.S. hospitals because of unprofessional actions of medical staff. Medical errors are among the five most common causes of death in the United States. They include cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, and lung disease. According to scientists, the number of deaths of Americans caused by medical errors exceeds the number of deaths caused by breast cancer, car accidents or AIDS. Just for the record, more than a thousand different surgical instruments are annually left in the bodies of operated patients. This is evidenced by the results of a study conducted by major hospitals and health centers in Boston. However, experts say that the real statistics are much higher, because the clinics are not required to report cases of detection of various objects in the body of the patients after surgery.

Medical errors are recorded at all levels of treating patients. For example, each year in the U.S. hospitals 400,000 patients get the wrong dose or improper drugs. In nursing homes, kindergartens, etc., such errors occur 800,000 times a year.

The US medicine is correctly described by foreigners who have been to our country and tried it. They like to say: “The life in the USA is pretty comfortable until you get ill”.

Summary

It is a well-known fact that the US health care is one of the most expensive in the world. Today, when combining the expenditure on medical sphere of ten biggest countries like Germany, Japan, China, Canada, the UK, etc., it is much less than in the US. In spite of this unbelievable fact, the USA cannot be proud of the quality of its medicine. Unfortunately, it takes the 17th place among the highly developed countries. According to the most recent research into the cost of medical mistakes in terms of lives lost, 210,000 Americans are killed by preventable hospital errors each year… All these facts definitely have reasons that led the US medicine to this state. They include the following:

· The US medicine is a business of saving lives.

· About 40 million Americans do not have health insurance. The problem with the lack of such insurance is that somehow periodically medical care is necessary for everyone.

· All kinds of expensive medical care are often appointed only for the benefit and to dislodge the maximum money from patients. Doctors are not interested in curing the patient, because it deprives them of income.

· 37 % of citizens of this country are worrying about the high cost of medical services and medicines. In 2009, due to the high cost of medications, nearly 15 % of American households did not take drugs which were prescribed by doctors. Paradoxically, the more advanced the drug is, the less it can help patients, because they simply cannot buy it.

· The average waiting period in the U.S. emergency rooms is 7 hours. If a patient is taken to the hospital by ambulance, the current procedure requires him/her to register first, and then a nurse spends superficial examination to determine the complexity of the situation. After this procedure, the patient can wait for hours for examination by a doctor. If it is either required to pass tests or X-rays, the waiting time can take more than 12 hours.

· Every year, 98 thousand patients die in the U.S. hospitals because of unprofessional actions of medical staff. Medical errors are among the five most common causes of death in the United States. According to scientists, the number of deaths of Americans caused by medical errors exceeds the number of deaths caused by breast cancer, car accidents or AIDS.

· Medical errors are recorded at all levels of treating the patient. For example, each year in the U.S. hospitals, 400,000 patients get the wrong dose or improper drugs. In nursing homes, kindergartens, etc., such errors occur 800,000 times a year.

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