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Report Medical Errors

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A decade ago the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) shook the medical community to its foundation. The IOM estimated that almost 100,000 Americans die in hospitals every year as a consequence of errors.

What can people do to protect themselves and their loved ones from this epidemic of error? First, everyone needs an advocate. When you are in the hospital everything seems strange and scary. You need a family member or friend to be standing by to take notes, ask questions and verify that the correct procedures and medications are being administered. Our Free Drug Safety Questionnaire can help.

Have you experienced a medical error, either mistreatment or misdiagnosis? We want to hear about your experiences. Share your story below:
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77 Comments

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I was a Flight Attendent in the 1960s and flew often to Mexico City. I began experiencing severe diarrhea and was hospitalized to test for amebic dysentery.

I was awakened early one morning very groggy from lack of food. The nurse said she was preparing me for gall bladder surgery. Suddenly, I was fully awake and protesting that she had the wrong person. She was determined to proceed.

Somehow I managed to fight her off long enough to get her to check for the correct patient and she did not return. I was lucky. If I hadn't awakened enough or been able to fight her off, I'd have lost a perfectly functioning gall bladder. After 3 days eating jello and several extremely invasive and uncomfortable tests, I was released. They never did determine if I had the dysentery, admitting it was extremely hard to diagnose. It took me 6 months to get my health back.

12 months ago I had a colonoscopy. I did not wake up from the anesthesia until about 2 hours after the procedure (compared to about 15 to 30 minutes after my 2 previous colonoscopies), and then slept most of the afternoon through to the next morning. Immediately after this procedure I have had memory problems. I have difficulty maintaining thoughts. I start to do something and the thought just drops out of my head and I have to struggle for a few minutes to recall the thought. It has gotten a little better after the 12 months, but is still quite noticeable.

I was in the hospital for 1 week for major back surgery, and then in rehab for a week. One of my doctors prescribed 2x daily injections of heparin since I was not up walking very much during the 1st week. The releasing doctor from rehab, whom I had never seen, ordered the heparin to be continued for a month at home.

Fortunately I questioned the prescription before filling it and my surgeon discontinued it immediately. It could have been very dangerous because at home I developed massive nosebleeds as a side effect of the anti-inflammatory I was taking.

Before my daughter died, she went through many hospitalizations. While hospitalized at the University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital several times over the years, there was at least one medication error during every stay. However, as my daughter was disabled (Aicardi Syndrome), I stayed with her while she was in the hospital, and always checked every medication they brought her, thus avoiding the potential errors. The same went for her latex allergies. Every item (and person!) that entered her room was checked by me for latex. Usually several times during each hospitalization, would it not have been for my vigilance (hypervigilance?), she would have been exposed to more latex and possibly anaphylatic shock.

Before too long, her chart was flagged, and the nursing supervisor visited her room frequently to make sure everything was going smoothly. I am sure in the 8 years since her death, matters have improved somewhat, but I still wonder about children who are left alone and given medications that might or might not be the correct ones/dosages.

I was treated for infertility for more than a year while my hypothyroid condition went undiagnosed. I repeatedly reminded my providers that there was a strong family history of thyroid disorder and that I had symptoms consistent with thyroid disorder. Although they did blood tests I think my levels weren't in the cut-off ranges they used at the time (10 years ago).

Finally a specialist at the local hospital found a mild thyroid problem and prescribed synthroid but said my problem wasn't the reason for my infertility and I still needed separate treatment. I read up on it and realized she prescribed me 1/3 the normal therapeutic starting dose. I went to my regular family doctor and she prescribed the normal dose for me.

Two weeks later I went to the specialist's office to reschedule a follow-up appointment. They had given me a medication to start my menstrual period so that they could conduct further tests about my "infertility", but my period never started, so I couldn't do the tests. Surprise surprise,I was pregnant. The nurse sent me home (I was shocked and my husband made me repeat the test with an OTC test before he would believe it!)

A day later the hospital called me and said I needed an ultrasound to follow up. That seemed curious to me so early in the pregnancy so I read a little and found out the medication they gave me raises the risk of ectopic pregnancy. The hospital never explained that to me, and they and my ob/gyn never admitted they had made a mistake.

After three healthy pregnancies and ten years, I'm still mad and wonder how many women are put through this kind of experience IN SPITE OF TRYING TO ADVOCATE FOR THEMSELVES... I took clomid for several cycles and could have gone through high risk multiple pregnancies as a result because they missed a very simple and common diagnosis.

j&t; great program, keep up the good work! 'Medical mistakes';We have been hearing advise to "ask lots of questions". Even your well informed Dr. guest this A.M. sugested asking in 'non aggressive' manner. But why can't forms be printd with all the relative questions for Dr.'s to 'X' and sign. For anyone to argue that they would be mired down in paperwork would be as insulting to our intelligents as the claim by some very greedy people that "we have to pay millions to keep the best/brightest people"! It would really cut down on litigation and free up the courts.

I have severe RLS, and laughed about the lady who put the bar of soap under the bottom sheet of the bed to help or cure RLS.

I seriously think she drank too much pickle juice,yellow mustard or took too much magnesium supplements. I put a bar of soap under the sheet, and the only thing I noticed was a lump in the bed.

In Colorado I was served by Kaiser-Permanente, having a complete physical every year. According to their tests my thyroid was functioning very low. They put me on medication and retested after 3 mos. Still low, they raised the med dosage and retested after another 3 mos.

One year from 1st diagnosis, a friend noticed that both eyes were bulging out and vision had gradually decreased substantially. Next day, at my son's suggestion, I went back to Kaiser and requested a complete thyroid scan.

They called me at 5 pm the same day, telling me to stop the thyroid meds immediately. It was too late: I already had Graves Disease and my ulcerative colitis had turned into colon cancer. Next, had to have surgery to remove 3/4 of colon. Have spent last 6 yrs. recovering from the Graves Disease.

I was encouraged to file suit against Kaiser, but wasn't able to do it until I had recovered sufficiently to handle that pursuit. When I was able to take action, I found that Colorado's statute of limitations had run out--it is only 2 years!!!!

8 years ago, shortly after arriving to work in the morning, I developed severe stomach pains and vomiting. After an hour I went to the urgent care clinic. The doctor told me it was likely severe acid reflux, and sent me along with Prevacid. A couple hours later it was much worse; I couldn't lay down as the pain was excruciating. A friend took me to the trauma center (same hospital) where I passed out before being seen.

After copious tests and several days it was determined that I had acute pancreatitis. My history: undiagnosed severe type II diabetes (BG: 350) and hyperlipidemia (6,600). This was after days of my husband fighting with the docs to convince them that I was not an alcoholic. Tests finally proved that too.

After several days of care I developed a staph infection through a central line. The pancreas (and surrounding tissue) quickly became necrotic and required 12 surgeries, one every other day. I was put in a coma to recover, and required 6 weeks of inpatient rehab to do the simplest of things, much less walk again. The insurance company ordered me home before I could stand up on my own.

I still experience flashbacks from the coma and pain from the great amount of scar tissue from the 20" long incision which had to heal via secondary inclusion.

When I was 14, I had Harrington Rod surgery for scoliosis. This was in the 70's, so I hope things have changed, but here's my story:

I contracted a staph infection at the incision - which was over 14" long. By the time they discovered it, the incision was already closed. They reopened my incision right in my hospital room. They used a scapel to reopen my incision, but did not provide any pain relief before attempting this procedure. It was barbaric. The kicker was that I was the 5th patient in a row to get infected after this particular surgery. They said that after me, they were going to review their procedures to figure out why this was happening.

To boot, it was not my orthopedic surgeon who performed the surgery, but another physician. My parents were good, compliant middle class folks who revered & respected doctors. They never thought to ask specific questions and a lawsuit would never have crossed their mind.

If your car mechanic causes additional expense, the mechanic foots the bill. Do doctors waive their fees when they have caused harm?

My husband went in for carotoid artery surgery 2 years ago. He had never had any type of surgery before. The surgery was successful, but while the doctor was out talking to me, he went into cardiac arrest.

For some unknown reason, it took them over 20 minutes to revive him. He went without oxygen for all that time and suffered severe brain damage. At the time, they told me that his heart stopped for some unknown reason and they couldn't get it started.

At first, my main priority was seeing if he would live and get out of the hospital. Once he was in rehab, I began searching for answers by taking him to cardiologists. After several tests and consults, the answer came back the same - there is nothing wrong with his heart. He did not suffer a heart attack and there was no indication of any heart disease.

Why did it stop after surgery? I kept asking and no one could answer. I finally decided to get a copy of his records and take it to an expert.

After review by the expert, I found my answer -- The anesthesiologist extubated him in the OR and disconnected all the monitors. His throat swelled shut and no on noticed that he was suffocating. He was blue when they began reviving him. Since his throat had swelled shut, they couldn't get oxygen back in him. I also found out that, due to his medical history and history of snoring and sleep apnea, the proper protocol is to keep the tube in until he is fully awake in the PACU.

The anesthesiologist did not follow this simple protocol, and as a result, my husband, at 57 years old, has no short term memory, no ability to initiate simple tasks, does not speak, and cannot be left alone.

I keep asking myself - why didn't I insist on talking to the anesthesiologist? She did not come into the room before the surgery. Why didn't I ask about risks of the anesthesia, such as complications due to sleep apnea? And the worst part is the coverup by all involved after the event.

My suggestion to everyone is to insist on choosing the anesthesiologist BEFORE the surgery. Often, this critical part of the surgery team is someone we don't even know. Discuss all aspects of your medical history before the surgery. It's very scary and devastating what can happen from anesthesia errors.

In 1990 I had my 3rd son at the age of 40. Due to a large head, I ended up delivering by C-section. During the procedure, my doctor severed my uterine artery without realizing it, closed me up, I bled out and had to be revived.

A 2nd doctor was called in to find the bleed, and ended up accidentally severing the iliac vein (which is the size of an artery) and I bled out a 2nd time.

Today, I am legally disabled with chronic venous insufficiency. AT first, I had to learn to walk all over again, first with a walker, then a cane. Now, I am on an extremities pump to keep fluid pumped off the leg. Doctors are not sure what my prognosis is into the aging process.

The worst part is that when I questioned the doctor's what happened, they knowingly lied to me and told me that I would have to have a battery of vein tests to see why my veins blew. Perhaps I had weak veins.

In deposition, both doctors admitted that they knew what had actually happened immediately, but were afraid to let me know. We lost the law suit, due to WI. requiring that the doctor must be found "criminally" negligent to win a malpractice case. I was awarded $400,000 in damages by the jury, but didn't get a dime of it because they refused to find him "criminally" negligent. My losses to date are over $800,000. I still feel that I was raped and abused because of their lying.

My mother died from staph infection after hip surgery. Both the hospital and doctor were at fault. They ignored all the systems. I reported them to the medical board. The doctor had to go back to school for infectious diseases for 2 years. The medical board said the hospital was ok even though they had several cases of staph infection other than my mothers. They did not know I knew about the. That was 1995. Since then the doctor has lost his California license so he has left the state

Four years ago I had a pinched nerve in my back. I was going to an Orthopedic Surgeon for something else and he said he could take care of the pinched nerve. When I (finally) woke up from the surgery I couldn't walk, had no bladder control and had 10 hammertoes. I will probably have to use a walker the rest of my life. I still don't have any bladder control and have an almost constant bladder infection. The hammertoes don't sound like much but try buying a pair of shoes that fit comfortably.

The DR. claimed the hammertoes were caused by neuropathy. He never offered any explanation (or sympathy) for the other problems.

Tessalon Perles caused my daughter to be dizzy and pass out several times...ER doc diagnosed Labyrinthitis..boy was she wrong...Tessalon side is cardiac collapse...

I had severe headaches on one side of my head. They usually came on overnight. For almost 10 years I was treated for migraines with medicine that would nearly knock me out. One morning I got up, was very dizzy and had a splitting headache. I was afraid I was having a stroke (in my 40s!). My husband drove me to see my doctor who FINALLY diagnosed a sinus and ear infection.

I believe all of my headaches were really sinusitus. I saw an ENT who did allergy testing and I took allergy shots for a couple years. He also performed sinus surgery to open a blocked sinus. I get 1-2 headaches a year now.

It happens in the mainstream health systems of all developed countries.
Our Australian experience of my mother's initially undiagnosed, and then poorly managed brain injury:
http://margihealing.wordpress.com/2009/05/20/medical-negligence-and-the-meaning-of-life/

In November 2001, I got sick and thought I had the flu. I was groggy and sluggish. I spent most of the day on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep. I was extremely thirsty-drinking pitcher after pitcher of Kool-AId without being able to quench my thirst. I was having trouble walking down the hallway and was bumping into the walls. I also had blurry vision.

First, I saw a GP for my flu-like symptoms. He told me I wasn't sick. I asked him what he thought was causing my feeling so ill. He said he didn't know, and there really wasn't anything he could do for me. And he sent me home.

Next, I saw an opthamologist for my blurry vision. Surprisingly, my vision was 20/15. I asked the doctor why everything was so blurry and he said that my eyes were probably "tired" and needed some time to readjust and refocus. And he sent me home.

Third, I saw my family doctor. I was still feeling ill and dizzy and had blurred vision. This doctor had recently changed my birth control prescription from a brand name to a generic one. I thought it might be (although a long-shot) the reason for my sickness. She assured me that none of the symptoms I was experiencing could be caused by the new BC pills I was on. And she sent me home.

Now it was Thanksgiving. I was so sick, I opted to stay home from the family Thanksgiving feast. I was just going to take a nap and try to "sleep it off."
My mom urged my husband to take me to the urgent care at the hospital. And we are glad he did!!

I collapsed outside the entrance to the urgent care/emergency room with a massive pain in my abdomen. My husband went inside to get a wheel chair to get me to urgent care. The ER nurse came out and admitted me straight into the ER.

The next thing I know, I had a nurse asking me (in a mean and mad sounding voice) how long I had been diabetic and why I wasn't taking my insulin. I said, "I'm not diabetic." And she proceeded to argue with me that I was. My husband finally said, "My wife is NOT diabetic!"

The ER physician came in and explained to me that my blood glucose level was 667. That's over 6 times what it should have been, especially considering the fact that I wasn't eating anything at all.

What makes it worse is that I was experiencing 8 of the 10 "tell tale signs" of diabetes. And not one of the three doctors I had seen earlier in the month realized that a single finger prick would have diagnosed it.

So, at age 25 I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. I spent 5 days in the hospital over Thanksgiving weekend. Was sent home without being showed how to give myself an injection, and with an appointment for the diabetic clinic in one week.

My diabetes has been uncontrolled ever since. I have had two stressful pregnancies (both which resulted in two beautiful boys). I have necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, which itself went undiagnosed for three years. (It started slightly smaller than the size of a dime on my lower right leg and is now about the size of a fifty-cent piece.) And I have been trying to get onto an insulin pump for over 5 years.

This experience has shown me that you can never ask too many questions. And you can never be too concerned about anything health-related. I ask questions about everything different and unusual that happens to me and my boys.

I am not surprised by the number of errors that happen in hospitals. It is however surprising to hear the number of deaths occurs.

I had a metal crown put in, and a week later I got spots on my eye lids. Another week later I got extremely light and sound sensitive along with a headache, and suddenly high blood pressure, the headache was worst I've ever had. I called my dentist and he wouldn't listen. He said it was an underlying health issue so I had every test I could. They found nothing. So then I got blurry vision I went back to the dentist over and over he still wouldn't take it out but finally agreed to a root canal well that restored my vision instantly, but I still had a headache, but not the light and sound sensitivity. So I begged him to remove the crown and after 5 months he finally did it. The head pain was gone by the second day and I no longer needed the high blood pressure meds. It was the worst experience ever.

Several years ago my 82 year old Mom, who was doing great at the time, was give a drug called "BONEVIA" for Osteoporosis. Five days later she was taken to E.R. because she was bleeding from the mouth and rectum profusely. The Doctor's told us she had a bleeding ulcer. Throughout the next ten days they only fed her only fluids through tubes, she used 17 units of blood to replace what she continued loosing, and they repeatedly attempted and failed to cauterize the ulcer.

This procedure is cheaper than surgery. On the tenth day in intensive care she was weak and dying. Finally the family was informed that that they had to operate to sew up "numerous" bleeding ulcers in her duodenum which were caused by the drug BONEVIA.

Our research of this drug uncovered many, many, many warnings clearly stating it was the #1 major cause for patients developing bleeding ulcers in the duodenum if they had any previous history of GERD, (Gastro Enteric Reflex Disease.) The Doctor that prescribed this drug to my Mom had been treating her for GERD for over 10 years. She made it through the operation, but suffered a stroke while in the hospital for 32 days.

She would not let her daughters sue the Doctor. One year later after she suffered a small fracture upon falling, the same Doctor tried to put her on this drug again! Her daughters who now have to care for her full time actually had to remind him that this was the drug that had almost killed her a year before. Make sure you know what your older parents are prescribed before they take it.

I've been taking Generic HYDROCODONE/APAP 5/500 (Watson) for over a year with refills approximately every month. I take this medicine carefully in a precise regular pattern. Prior to a recent incident I came up short toward the end of my one month period but could not really pinpoint the reason so I blew it off.

Several months ago I received 50 of the prescribed 60 tablets of Generic HYDROCODONE/APAP 5/500 (Watson). When I brought the container home I noticed that although the usual size container was used it was not filled to the brim as it usually is so I counted them at least twice and saw that it was short by 10.

I imediately called the pharmacy and was told to speak to the pharmacist who actually did the preparation. This I did and he said he would check. Within a minute he told me that his check comfirmed that I was mistaken. I have no idea how he could have performed the check in that short time and I asked if counting the pills in the container from which my pills came from would be a more prudent method. I was told that that wasn't necessary, that I would be given the benefit of doubt and could pick up the 10 pills. He would also flag my account for double counting.

I told him I needed no benefit of his doubt as I was positive that the cause was on his end. I decided to give him the benefit of my doubt and pegged him as incompetent rather than unscrupulous. I told him I didn't appreciate my account being marked and that if anyone deserved special attention it was he. So I waited until my next appointment with the doctor who rewrote my prescription and took my business to another pharmacy.

I would like to see the flag planted where it belongs though. Sure, it's absolutely possible that it was an innocent mistake on the pharmacist's part and that he is just not built for taking responsibility for his incompetency. I can't possibly know. I just hope someone is keeping score because I doubt that my experience is unique.

Hello,

I am a journalist in North Carolina. I am looking for patients who experienced medical errors in North Carolina. If you would like to share your story, your help would be very much appreciated! Please contact me at rmeagan@email.unc.edu. I look forward to hearing from any of you!

Meagan

In March of 2003, as I was arriving home one evening, I felt a strange "pull" in my chest--not pain, just a pulling sensation, but not a muscle strain. Two days later, I was having issues breathing, my pulse was 120 when resting, and I had no energy at all. Looked up on line the symptoms of a heart attack--had none. Looked up the symptoms of a stroke--had none.

I must state that I never had any underlying heart issues--no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no excess weight, no smoking, and I was physically active. However, something was very, very wrong. Went to the local hospital’s emergency room that day. Spent 11 hours there, had several tests (x-ray, EKG, etc) with no determination of what was happening. Finally, sent home with an antibiotic and a diagnosis that I had a slight case of pneumonia and it was making me "nervous" enough to cause my symptoms. Told to take a day off from work and to call my doctor if I was not better in 10 days or so.

Got worse. Much worse. Not enough energy to walk down a hallway. Kept passing out at random times. Ended up panting all the time. Heart pounding hard enough to see my chest moving. Went to my doctor 10 days later. Told I had a heart murmur—must have been born with it. He would not listen to my statement that I had had 2 children & a genetic heart murmur would have been found before now. He didn’t believe my complaints of fatigue, or breathing issues or my heart pounding all the time. He sent me for another x-ray. Found that I could not climb the one flight of stairs to get the x-ray. Went home instead.

Two days later, went back to emergency room. Spent 10 hours there. They were going to send me home because they believed I was “faking” it. My Mother had a screaming fit in the central area (I could hear it in my little room) that I was going to DIE if they sent me home & she would sue everyone of them for murder. Finally, the doctors decided to give me an electrocardiogram (sonogram of the heart)….just to shut her up. Turned out that 17 days before, when I felt something strange in my chest, all the tendons that connected my mitral heart valve to the bottom of my upper left chamber had snapped like rubber bands! So, the entire left side of my heart stopped working! Blood was not going to my lungs; it was sloshing around in both chambers—going nowhere. I could see what was wrong….I was dying!

Spent 2 days in the Cardiac ICU before they could operate—needed to force some of the fluid out of my lungs. Once they fixed the valve, I kept dying on them post-op. Heart surgeon decided to open me back up, hook me up to the heart/lung machine once again & allow my very damaged heart to rest enough to recover enough to keep on beating. Was on machine for 45 minutes or so. Once back in post-op, heart started hemorrhaging. Lead to another trip to the operating room (my 3rd trip in less than 24 hours). Coded several times during these surgeries. Was comatose for 4 + days.

Woke up blind but don’t remember. Because I could walk & talk once I fully woke up, everyone thought I had escaped without any brain damage. Not true. Had lost connection between faces and names. Had lost ability to spell. Had lost ability to transfer short term memories to long term memories. Could not sequence. Cognitive ability was greatly diminished. Kept having TIAs for 2+ years after surgery. Took 4+ years to recover from brain damage & physical issues with heart/lungs. Still have issues with brain injury but able to compensate.

Funny though, when I went for one of my recovery visits to heart surgeon, I asked why no one in the ER properly diagnosed what had happened to me. Her answer? No one ever walks into the ER with this problem. They arrive DOA.

A year ago my husband (76) on a Friday evening had trouble breathing and high blood pressure. Because we had guests from another country and the hospital was near, I let our daughter take him to emergency (where he had gone several times before) while I served dinner but joined them about about 90 min. later.
He had checked himself in and was already being tested. Had a X ray for possible pneumonia (had had 3 bad ones before) and other possible problems related to his background.

After 5 1/2 hrs they admitted him. I went home by 23h30. Next morning, they put him in ICU before I came to visit. Lots of tubes... but he had stabilized. Next day on Sunday, still in ICU and looking very well, sitting, eating and almost normal. We watch a football game together. Our regular doctor who had been on duty the whole weekend at another nearby hospital came to see him after I had left.
Monday morning, he was back in normal ward. When I came to visit around 11h30, he looked tired and slept a lot.

I thought that was good, for being a type A person, he did not rest easily. However, before I left he was agitated and told me the man in the next bed wanted to kill me... I thought he was having a nightmare. Beside, there was no man in the next bed. Later, our daughter stopped by after work, and found him very agitated and talking again about the man who wanted to kill me. She called me and I came right away. He was again very groggy and had a lost stare.

I asked the doctor in charge what was going on. He said they had to give him Valium IV because he was having DTs... I was shocked and asked why: " his hands are very shaky and he was agitated". I told the doctor he had a tremor which had gotten worse lately but certainly was not alcoholic. The doctor said he had signed in that he drank 4oz of whiskey daily and wine for dinner. We did drink wine for dinner, but no whiskey every day and had water with it. The doctor was not
convinced that he was wrong and had not checked with our regular doctor.

I left around 20hrs and he had calmed down. Next morning, I was awakened by the telephone and was asked to come to the hospital. I said I was coming as soon as I would be allowed, around 10h00 but they said no, NOW. I rushed to the hospital, and as I walked the long hallway, I could see the resident doctor and 2 women next to him. At the nurses' station, they asked me to come to a corner of the visiting area, and told me point blank that he was dead.

We went to his room where he was already lying with his eyes closed. He was warm still and looked just asleep. It was the first time I saw a dead person that close and so soon after. The shock had not settled on me yet, and I managed to call our daughter. Some staff came to tell me that they needed the room and I should call a funeral home to make arrangements. I called his best friend and X told me he would come right away.

Well, he had had so much Valium and relaxants that sitting in a wheel chair by the nurses' station while eating his breakfast, he swallowed a piece of food and choked which brought on a cardiac arrest. They tried resuscitation but he did not come back.

I had his records copied later to follow the whole progress of his hospitalization. He was over drugged on the Monday and with his very shaky hand must have pushed the food in his mouth in a bad way which made him swallow the wrong way. If I had been there to feed him may be he would still be with me. However, we shall never know. But definitely, there was some mistake. I have learnt from your program today, to have a daughter with me if I need to go to a hospital and have her stay by me and check on every procedure and medicines I would be given.

Your show with Patrick Malone sure was an eye opener about having an advocate when needing medical attention. By the way, we had been married for 51 yrs and were still much in love.

I wanted to tell the woman whose husband died in the hospital essentially because he was neglected by a doctor who could have had information from his PCP and did not bother to get it that I am horribly sorry. I have had many small problems with doctors and a long time ago I had unnecessary dental surgery, but I have fortunately not had anything like that happen.

My biggest complaint is that big pharma (whose handsomely dressed bodies often enough stand in line ahead of me and other patients) have obviously talked doctors into prescribing medications for my fibromyalgia which did not help and did give me what I call a bouquet of side effects.

Doctors are horribly afraid where I am to prescribe anything controlled, but it's not because a moderate amount of those would not work better than any of the new classes of drugs, it is because the government has scared them.

Again, I am truthfully sorry about your husband and wish your family had not suffered so much so unnecessarily.

I am really encouraged to hear that your ten years of Migraines have been stopped overnight with the correct diagnosis and surgery. I too have been enduring years of Migraines and have noticed that no one is really trying to figure out the cause for them. In the last few years I've noticed lots of problems with my sinuses, and that area in general. I'm also sure I've developed a "Polyp" growth in the left nostril which is blocking my breathing more and more. I'm going to do follow the path you have taken and hope my issues can be repaired as easily. Thanks for sharing your story.

I too am taking several strong pain medications and used the same pharmacy for year after year. One year I began noticing missing pills only in the medications that I've heard have a high street value price. Like you, I first let it go. Then I began counting and seeing that especially the Hydrocodine pills were coming up five to ten short per month. I set up an appointment with the head of the Pharmacy and really let him hear what I thought was going on. He too flagged my prescriptions for special recounts. Since then, I haven't missed any pills. Being flagged is not the worse issue, it will prevent others from stealing from your prescribed medications.

I read the blog that was about getting prescriptions that were several short and I've had the same experience. Like this other woman, I was taking hydrocodone for fibromyalgia and a couple of low back compressed disks and I wasn't counting the pills until I noticed that I seemed to be running out when I shouldn't have.

I've been told by my PCP that people sell things that aren't even worth having because they don't know one pill from another, and that's a reason why I don't get quite as many pain killers as I need because it happens all the time. It's amazing how desperate people are for money or for pills.

Rather than relating one of many instances where MIStreatment has been inflicted upon me or when I unsuccessfully tried to stop my arrogant Dr-employer from removing the wrong body part(!), I have a question:

Without torts what option does a patient have to pay for medical mistakes inflicted upon them?

We all know that the so-called "peer review" is nothing more than the fox guarding the hen house! Doctors cover for doctors - period...it is as tight as the police's "blue line." They usually blame "dumb nurses."

Are there any constructive answers for making doctors and nurses accountable for not paying attention to what they are doing, not listening to the patient, being too arrogantly smart for their patients' well-being, not double-checking to avoid mistakes, not open to cautions concerning a patient or even what they are doing to a patient, etc.?

My mother, age 46, became constipated while in the hospital, otherwise recovering well from a bad cold that was exacerbating her lupus. I couldn't be there with her because I lived on the other side of the country. However, I talked to her everyday, and she was sounding upbeat that she would be released soon the last time I talked to her.

My grandmother was there with her, and told me the activities leading up to my mother's death. My mother made it clear on every shift that she felt that it was inappropriate and felt very uncomfortable with having a male nurse attend to her private areas. For the most part, I believe they were able to accommodate to that wish. As I mentioned, she became constipated.

The male nurse told her he was the only one available, and that he needed to do a scoop to help her vacate. When she saw the instrument he intended to use, she begged and pleaded with him not to do it, because the thin membranes inside would tear easily, and it would kill her. He did it anyway, against her wishes, and against my grandmother telling him not to. He punctured the membrane, as she said would happen.

Of course, because of her lupus, they refused to do the surgery to repair. She subsequently suffered from sepsis, slipped into a coma, organs shut down, and my step-dad and I were forced to decide to discontinue life support, as she was no longer responsive. I traveled to see her before she died. They said when they took her off oxygen, it wouldn't take long, but she continued to breathe for a while, and I talked to her.

Her heart continued, and she continued to breathe, and the staff looked a little puzzled, and they gave her some medication and she made the most awful expression like she was angry, and then she passed. This happened back in the spring time and this is the first time that I've really been able to talk about it.

Is there a third-party site out there somewhere that allows people to report medical errors for specific doctors/hospitals?

I want to add to the show on medical mistakes the weekend of Feb 28th...
The best way to get a good orthopedic referral is to consult with PT's that are not associated with an orthopedic group. Mine have never steered me wrong... even sending me 65 mi away... it was well worth the trip.

In the 1980's during a hospitilization prior to surgery I was briefed that I would receive a shot of Demerol on the morning of surgery and then be moved to the OR and given medication to put me to sleep. On the morning of surgery a nurse came to my room pulled my chart made a note and gave me the Demerol Shot. Approximately 5 minutes later another nurse came in didn't look at the chart and was getting ready to give me a shot. I asked her what she was doing and she said giving me a shot of Demerol. I told her she needed to check the chart because I already had the shot.

I am now retired, but during my two careers I had jobs that required that I have extensive knowledge of medical information and drugs. I have seen and personally witnessed numerous mistakes and oversights. I aspire to the theory that doctors are licensed to "practice" medicine they are not all knowing and many times fall short of being perfect. That is why I believe that your life or someone you loves life can depend on how well you educate yourself about you and your loved ones medical problems and prescribed medications.

My physician was supposed to be removing a ganglion cyst at the base of my middle finger but he made the incision at the base of my ring finger and probed for an extended period of time. I jokingly finally asked the "nurse" standing next to me if he was working at the base of my middle finger. No one said a word. They (two physicians) just continued to work. When the bandage came off and I saw the incision, I knew what had happened. My husband asked the physician about it. He just laughed and said that it is hard to know where you are working once you put the drapes on !!

I just read your article on medications and cataracts. I was prescribed Cozaar for my blood pressure. I specifically asked the Dr. what are the side effects, she flat out lied and said, there are none.

Should I report this Dr. for lying to me or what rights do I have in this situation? My employer does not provide health insurance and therefore I have to obtain my medical treatment from a substandard county health center and hospital.

In 2008 during a yearly check up, my doctor sent me for a blood test. It came back with a PSA of 5.5. Sent to a Urologist, a biopsy found prostate cancer. After many tests, it was found not spreading.

Although I did not have any of the symptoms I was asked if I had, it was recommended to have something performed. As I didn't have any problems with the prostate, I chose radiation. In September 2009, I started (42) days of radiation treatment.

After treatment, I had all of the problems I was asked did I have by the doctors before the radiation. Immediately after treatment ended I have urinary problems, rectal problems, and painful stomach pains. I went back to the radiologist, told him of all the problems I had, and asked why I now had all these problems, that I now had that matched all the questions he asked if I had prior to the radiation. He answered, that the radiation had nothing to do with any of my symptoms. Since then to today I'm still going to doctors, specialists, to get relief for the stomach pains.

Excellent idea! It would also be wonderful to leave an MD's office with an understanding of what is the root of your problem and what solution/s are possible rather than be given a hand full of Rx's and their money-making side effects for symptoms.

Years ago when my brother was nineteen years old, he went to his physician for a routine checkup. The doctor told my brother that he believed he needed surgery and referred my brother to a surgeon who told my brother (without any tests) that he had testicular cancer and that he needed surgery to remove his testicles as soon as possible. Needless to say, my brother was upset about the diagnosis and the prospect of surgery.

My father decided to take my brother to another physician. The last one was not a friend of the others. The last physician examined my brother and told him that he definitely did not have cancer. He was fine. There was absolutely nothing wrong. The last physician was correct. My brother eventually got married. He and my sister-in-law became the proud parents of three children. He is now in his fifties.

Another example, I was born with a really strange birth defect. My mother never drank alcoholic beverages and never smoked. She also ate healthily. All of us have always had very healthy lifestyles. When I was an infant, and then later on during my childhood, my parents would ask each physician about my birth defect. The physicians would never give my parents a straight answer. When I was older, we were watching a medical program on television. One of the medical experts mentioned that pregnant women should always be wary of having x-rays during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. My mother suddenly stood up, she said that she remembered that her obstetrician had ordered a lot of x-rays while she was expecting me.

Another example: I have an aunt who died at age 39 from breast cancer. She went to her doctor immediately upon noticing symptoms. He brushed off her concerns. He told her she was too "nervous" and sent her on her way. The delay cost her precious time. She left behind a husband and six year old daughter.

Another example: One of my cousins had measles. She developed complications. Her mother quickly brought her to their family doctor. He proceeded to dismiss my aunt's concerns. He told her she worried too much and did nothing for my cousin. The complications led to permanent brain damage.

I have several more examples in my extended family. In all of these cases, not a single lawsuit was filed. I wish there was more oversight on bad physicians. Some of them don't seem to care at all about their patients.

I'm so sorry to read of the serious losses some of you have suffered due to negligence and arrogance. It is frightening to think you must have someone with you at all times to "protect" you from medical "care!" I am sure my mother died due to negligence years ago, but I didn't realize it at the time. Here are a few of my own stories.

1) In the ER for severe upper respiratory infection, I told the "doctor" I was allergic to penicillin. He handed me a prescription for amoxicillin. Luckily, I knew better and challenged him.

2) After surgeries and treatment with Clindamycin and other drugs, I became so ill, I went to the ER of a top-ranked prestigious hospital. As I listed my drug allergies, a very annoyed nurse wrote down TPA, instead of what I said, "PPA." I asked 5 people to correct this on my wristband, but no one would do it. Another nurse put an IV needle in a vein, but left without hooking up the line to the fluid bag. No other nurses would complete the task. I became dehydrated. I begged a tiny cup of juice and a quarter piece of stale toast from an orderly, and was billed $10 for "dinner."

Essentially, though, I laid there for 10 hours with no fluids or electrolytes. Copies of med records showed my initial lab tests with a potassium level at the very bottom of the acceptable range (I think 2.5). They also ran, without my knowledge or permission, a complete screen for illegal drugs, which came back negative. Another unnecessary bill.

I saw a good intern; then after a long wait, the "doctor" came in and told me I was depressed because I was single. He then told me all about HIS depressions and left. He never examined me, but in my records, he had written up a fake history and physical exam (which he never did). I waited more hours for a consult with a psychiatrist (more unnecessary charges), who said I was anxious. (Duh!)

I was discharged, went home alone, and passed out for 3 days. I don't know how that's possible, but I know I went to bed, and the next thing I knew, 3 days had gone by. I read my lab reports (which they'd given me) and took some potassium! There were a LOT of other errors during this stay at the ER. Scary stuff.

I remained ill for a number of years while having surgeries and taking Clindamycin. Nobody could figure out what was wrong; I got a runaround and felt dismissed and patronized. I did my own research and concluded I had developed celiac disease. I quit the surgeries and drugs, treated myself for celiac and I got better. I am very interested to find this website and see all the problems people have had with Clindamycin! Nobody ever suggested this could be making me so sick!

3) Another time, I passed out and fell down a flight of stairs. I was afraid to go to the ER again, so I asked my doctor for X-rays and a brain scan to rule out fractures and concussion. The doctor ordered tests. He called me a few days later and told me I hadn't broken any bones. "What about the brain scan?" I asked. "It was normal," he repLIED. Months later I retrieved my records from radiology. He never ordered a brain scan. (This was the same week Natasha Richardson died from a fall in the snow!)

4) I just found out my ophthalmologist (who teaches at a well known medical school) has been writing the identical (blatantly incorrect) prescription for glasses for several years, despite my complaints of worsening vision problems. He's been giving me lenses for near-sighted when I am far-sighted, plus the wrong prescription!

5) I am now in the habit of getting my medical records to review and am stunned at the errors in them. As some of the other people on here, I could go on and on.... we should have a better system for accountability and reporting of errors. A lawsuit is an extreme measure, very stressful, with no guarantee of a fair outcome. Lawyers don't want to waste time on "minor" problems.

Maybe we can file complaints with the insurance companies who pay these people for nothing. And we ought to speak up when someone does a good job too! I think it's interesting when I check the websites that say "rate your doctor." Almost everyone has a great rating or no rating. Makes me wonder if the doctors are threatening action against the websites if they publish a negative review.

Hi Carla - would you mind sharing what meds for fibromyalgia and what side effects? I have similar problems; most doctors won't give you the "safer" controlled meds, but prefer to throw things like antidepressants and Lyrica at you. They have terrible side effects! I went gluten free and take 400 mg (bid) of SAM-e, plus a load of other supplements, and it has helped somewhat.

Dr's ignoresometimes dangerous drug interactions. I recently ended up in the hospital after taking Terbinafine 250 mg. All 3 doctor's called my reaction a rash, it wasn't, it was Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Dr.s are afraid or unaware of Stevens-Johnson and think it's an umbrella for a catch-all diagnosis. SJS can kill you and many people have died from it and I could have been a statistic if I hadn't gone to ER when I did.

My reaction was this: I had bruise like marks all over my body from head to toe, the skin died in approx. 3 layers because the skin is burned from the inside out. All my skin came off including my ears, nose, scalp and all the way down to the bottoms of my feet. Then lesions surfaced on my face, fingers, hip, tail bone and arms. When I left the hospital and inquired when the red marks would go away they said a couple of days.

It's been 32 days and it looks like I have months ahead to keep recovering. It makes me sick the way they herd you in and out of the hospital, treat you for something that they don't know about. That is if there is a treatment or cure. Only one out of 4 of the doctor's I saw was honest and identified it as it was. Ginger

A good few months ago I was diagnosed with a disease that would render me blind however I've had an appointment at the hospital today and am fine! Who can I complain to about the Options as you can imagine I've been in pieces for months over this and for no reason!

My 83 year old mother was given the wrong Medication. She was given prozac instead of paxal. I took her to the ER and we spent 6 hrs. there and they did a CAT scan, xrays, blood tests and urinalysis testing. Everything came back okay. The pharmacy delivers her meds to her in a box that has slots for periods in the day. The reason that I took my mother to the ER was that she couldn't make her lets go, she was confused and agitated and depressed.

When I took the pill box to the pharmacy and ask what a blue and white tablet was she went to the medications and came back and told me that it was paxil. When I confronted her and told her that it wasn't, that I had called the pharmacy and they told me what there paxil looked like and that what they gave my Mother wasn't that she then went back and told me that it was prozac. I would like to know what to do about this?

Contact the pharmaceutical board in you state.

my Prescription for Vyvance, a ADD stimulant medication, was filled by a CVS pharmacy with Oxycontin, a highly addictive narcotic pain reliever. Fortunately the medications look very different so I noticed the mistake. If it had been my first time taking it I might not have known, and would have taken a high dose of opiates expecting a stimulant.

I started having what I was told was burst ovarian cysts about every other week. After going to the ER after one particularly painful bout, I asked my Ob/Gyn what could be done about it. She shrugged and said I should take a stronger pain medication, and wrote me a prescription for Dilauded. About two weeks later, it happened again, only much worse.

Since the previous ER experience had been terrible (a guy passed out next to me after being sedated--the nurse walked out of the room and they left him passed out under my gurney for a long while--and they hadn't offered me much help) my husband and I decided to go to the slightly bigger hospital in the neighboring town in our rural area instead.

At the time I was being treated for what was then diagnosed as a chronic pain condition. I have never taken my medications inappropriately, nor done anything to suggest that I'm abusing drugs. However, as soon as I gave my medical history to the woman doing the intake, and said that I take Ultram daily, she sneered at me and it became clear that I was not going to be believed.

I was in extreme pain and couldn't walk, nor hardly breathe. I'd been throwing up constantly for hours at that point. I was very ill. It would take pages to relate what happened next, but the essence was they told me that I was "refusing" treatment because I said I couldn't walk down a long hall to give a urine sample and was in too much pain to draw up my legs for an internal exam. At that point, not only could I not walk, but I was dehydrated from the vomiting.

I had no urine to give, even if I'd been able to walk down the hall. They never gave me IV fluids, nor did any scans. They treated me very roughly and with obvious disdain. My husband said that while I was passed out on the table, the doctor kept stating that I was "just refusing treatment." They gave me morphine, which I reacted badly too and which made me short of breath, and threw me out of the ER. My husband has Parkinson's, and I still to this day don't know how he got me in the house when we got home, since I was basically unconscious (perhaps they assumed his tremor was a sign that he was a "drug addict" too?).

When the morphine wore off hours later, I was in extreme--10 out of 10, easily--pain. I was vomiting again. I was extremely ill. We went back to the first hospital. This time, I got lucky. There was someone competent on staff. He immediately felt a mass in my abdomen. They gave me fluids. They did an ultrasound. I was admitted in fair condition for emergency surgery. It turned out the weight of a "massive" cyst on my hemorrhaging right ovary had caused it to turn two full turns on itself, blocking the blood flow to the ovary. I had internal bleeding and other problems as well, including multiple large fibroids in my uterus. I was told I'd been near death. The recovery, six years later, is still ongoing.

While looking at my medical records a few years after the fact, I discovered that, before that ob/gyn had shrugged and told me to take stronger pain killers, an ER ultrasound report had concluded that I'd had a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst that might have been infected, and that cancer couldn't be ruled out. Follow-up was strongly recommended. The doctor did nothing but tell me to take Dilauded.

My insurance company told me that unless I'd won a court verdict against the hospital that threw me out of the ER, I had to pay the bill. "Medical malfeasance," my benefits director told me, "is a protected benefit." I also recently discovered that the ER doctor who chucked me out to die was promoted to a leadership position in the Emergency Department.

The "chronic pain" condition is a whole other story. After 10 years and many specialists, including a neurologist who told me my problem was neurosis, I was finally just diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

And I, too, have had my pharmacy shortchange my tramadol. The bottles from Medco, my mail order pharmacy, were coming missing up to 50 pills at a time. When I called to complain, the person at the phone snorted that "you take a controlled substance--you can't prove anything!" (that is, nobody would believe me). My doctor offered to have my prescriptions sent to him. Mysteriously, the full prescribed quantity arrives if it is sent to the doctor's office rather than directly to me. It's immoral.

E.G. Report the incidents with your meds to the state pharmaceutical boards in your state and theirs. Include copies of correspondence to each agency to the other agency. Call the mail order pharmacy and record the phone call. Find out the legal requirements in your state whether you must get permission first or not.

Contact the state medical board and file a complaint against the OB/GYN. The statute of limitations may have run out, but you insist on that being part of her file. Bug your local consumer news reporter and I mean bug the heck out of him until he decides to do the story.

Research all internet complaints on Medco.

Thanks Beverly. After reading your reply, I've been researching Medco complaints. What an eye opener! I certainly have not been the only one who's had the same problems with them. Very interesting... Thanks for your advice!

You're welcome. Let us know how everything turns out.

My mother, an 81 year old dementia patient, was recently hospitalized for a broken hip after suffering a fall. When she fell, she also had a head laceration requiring 3 stitches, 5 days, before her hospitalization. When she was hospitalized, her POA tried to tell the ER doctor, mother's medications-- he said "oh the nurse will get that info from you".

Three days, later mother was having her hip repaired, the POA and I spoke to 4 different doctors, the orthopedist, anesthesiologist, cardiologist and the physician tending to her care during her hospitalization. All 4 asked us if she was on Plavix (she had a coronary stent in 6/2007). We told them the Plavix had been discontinued 3 years ago. We couldn't figure why they were asking us about the Plavix and we told all of them "oh, no she has not taken Plavix in 3 years".

We had made the false assumption that they had spoken to her primary care physician and had her on the correct meds. In fact, they were using the discharge medication list from 6/2007 which was incorrect because it did not have my mother's thyroid medication on it. When she arrived at the Nursing Home, we verified her medications, because I wanted to see if she was still receiving an antibiotic as she had spiked a fever the day before her discharge to the Nursing Home, and there it was, the incorrect list of meds from 2007.

It took many calls and at least 2 days to convince the nursing home to stop the Plavix and to restart the Thyroid med. On the third day my mother was found to be throwing up blood, and was readmitted now needing two units of blood. And the stitches were still in head after 14 days, which had talked to at least 4 nurses and a doctor about needing to be removed. Advocating, does not seem to work-- they just give you the look and believe what somebody copied from the chart from old orders as if they were the truth of god....

Betty, advocating works. It's how you advocate. I was the primary caregiver/POA for my late mother. I did not care if it was post 9-11 and you had to be politically correct. I told the Drs. and nurses. I speak four languages.

1) Butt kicking
2) cursing
3) English
4) Don't "f" with me.

I was up in your face type. The hospital put my mother in a nursing home without my permission. I was at the nursing home all times of the night. I received a phone call from my mother about a nurse being a smart butt. I called the director at 2:13 am and I told him I was on my way and I was sick of this bullcrap.

He called ahead and told one of the CNA's that she is on her way and I suggest that you get out of her way. I was at the nursing home in less than 6 minutes and it is usually a 15 minute drive. I walked in the nursing home and the CNA told me that the nurse was out to lunch. I told her I will wait.

The nurse showed up and she said, what are you doing here? I stood up and I told her point blank. I don't know what your problem is. My mother has more serious problems than you have at this time and I suggest that if you don't want me to put my foot up your butt so far that they will have to dust the bottom of my shoe off. I suggest that you act in a professional manner. I also told her my mother better come home live and well or else.

I cannot print what else I told her. The last time my mother was hospitalized I had to go off on the nurses to clean up the correct information. My mother was 6 feet tall. Her height was listed at 5'3". My mother was allergic to sulfa and Tylenol. What did they provide her for pain? Tylenol. I reminded the nurse and she tried to call me a liar. She changed her tune real fast when I jumped over the nurse's desk and was up in her face.

Patients came out of their rooms clapping and whistling. They started to tell me the problems with the so-called rehab/nursing home. The nurse was trembling so bad that the CNA had to call the director and tell him to send another nurse.

In April 2010 I was attacked by a Canadian goose, knocking me down and breaking my pelvis. I was hospitalized two days and spent two weeks in rehab. Physical Therapy people began walking me the next morning. During the next week I climbed steps and walked daily.

One week after the accident the head of PT was back to work and discussing some things with me. I asked a question. She said, "Well, it depends on what your chart says." I said I assumed she HAD read my chart at this point. She said she'd "do that right now". She came back with, "Oops - there is to be NO WEIGHT BEARING on the right leg for 3-4 weeks".

I recovered - still have minor pain but can live with that. On Saturday night after the Tuesday accident, (now at rehab center for 2nd full day) one overworked little gal asked me is I'd like some help getting cleaned up and maybe get my bed changed and a clean gown. I was still wearing the gown put on me on Tuesday night at the ER.

misdiagnosed and mistreated for Late stage Lyme Disease. I was pregnant at 15. Lyme and pregnancy does not mix. They made me go 2 weeks over due. I had gained over 100 pounds (mostly) water and my body was destroyed. My water broke and 2 days of intense labor and multiple drugs, I had developed a fever and infections and there were several untraceable reports of heartbeat for my daughter.

My daughter had fecal matter ingested and they still waited 6 plus hours til an emergency c section. I was screaming in pain feeling like my pelvis was going to shatter. They then proceeded to cut my daughters face open. 1 IN plus scar to this day. I was sewn up and had 40 staples to be taken out 2 weeks later... She was then put on antibiotics and we stayed for one week.

She was born 8lb 10oz 21 & 1/2 n long. They then proceeded to inject my hip with the (Depo) shot and I was sent on my way. (No Knowledge of consent to this) I gained approx. 50 lbs in 3 weeks.. Then.. a few weeks later developed a rash. It began to spread, and spread. The doctors had no clue what it was, and in my records (the ones they did release) It states she believes it was the BC shot.

It was not until I had covered from head to toe oval rashes all over my body to extreme, that I was sent to an allergy Dr. I was to put on this cream and go under UV lights and it was gone. 4 years later. I have my son. Same pregnancy complications with water and weight gain, Different Dr. I had a planned C section. There was so much scar tissue they had to remove before they could get my son out. I had an amniocentesis before the c section to check for lung development.

He turned upside down in me right after the amniocentesis. It was intense and painful. The spinal did not go so well either and still have pain in the area 7 years later. I am now ILL with Lyme and Other Co Infections as well as BOTH my children. NO Justice!!!

I felt a severe epileptic seizure coming on and dialed 911 to get an ambulance to come. Paramedics arrived and let me onto the ambulance, as the seizure hadn't happened yet. They were taking my history as we were going down the road. The next thing I knew, I was in the ER and had two security guards standing next to me.

A doctor walks in and proceeds to ask me questions about my history. He leaves and I overhear him talking, saying that a disorder I mentioned in my history was a delusion. This was my usual hospital and that particular disorder is "at the top of" my chart.

The next thing I knew (about a day later), I was in the psych ward and found out that I'd been diagnosed with postictal psychosis (psychosis caused by a seizure). According to my chart, I was given an antipsychotic that's dangerous for people with epilepsy, only for my symptoms to get worse. That was followed by an antipsychotic that's also used for stopping status epilepticus (an unending seizure), which almost immediately stopped my symptoms.

Apparently, I blabbered a bunch of nonsense before the doctor came in, which was mistaken for psychosis. My seizures are in my temporal lobe and cause me to say all sorts of strange things... yet the ER doctor didn't bother to double-check that in my chart! Since then, I'm always afraid that people will mistake my seizures for a mental problem!

File a formal complaint with the medical board. Get a second opinion if necessary and contact a civil rights/medical malpractice attorney.

This is a compelling interview which if widely heard throughout the medical community could solve some of our more pressing societal problems.

As the interview mentions, arrogance is a real and present threat to the safety of all.

I suggest that two utilizations of this highly effective checklist would make meaningful improvements in our out-of-control national expenditures for healthcare:

a ) every patient, when discussing a potential surgery with a physician should ask if that physician adheres to that checklist protocol, and

b ) if those insurance companies which provide malpractive insurance coverage to clinical physicians were to require that those covered by their policies adhere to this proven checklist, as a condition of obtaining coverage.

Last year my husband was taken to the emergency room for altered mental status and weakness. I told the paramedic that he may have had another stroke or his CO2 level was too high. He suffered from COPD and was on oxygen and had a habit of turning it up too high when I wasn't around.

When I arrived at the ER the paramedic told medical personnel that he had put high flow O2 on him (first mistake-you never highflow someone with COPD). My husband was drowsy by alert when roused. At first the doctor complied with mine and my husband's wishes not to be put on a ventilator but to use a bipap machine instead as it was safer and he had responded well to it previously.

Respiratory specialists are steering away from the use of ventilators because of the lung damage they cause and have found cpap and bipap to be safer and as effective. His CO2 level came back high and the doctor then decided against my husband's expressed wishes to intubate him. Even though my husband told him to stop, he ignored him and did it anyway. Shortly afterward he decided, for some reason, to start a central line. However, he didn't reduce the pressure and a massive air embolus resulted.

He went into cardiac arrest twice. He was in a coma the rest of the night. It took many days to stabilize his blood pressure and pulse. He woke the next day but his vision was severely impaired. He developed and ileus (his bowels stopped working) which the hospitalist didn't pick up on in spite of his rapidly expanding girth and his complaints of pain. Not until he vomited and aspirated stool did the doctor think to assess his bowels.

By this time he had developed a GI bleed also which couldn't be treated, requiring blood transfusions that were only temporary fixes. He complained of rib pain but no one followed up on that either. The pulmonologist decided not to remove the ventilator because he couldn't breathe deeply enough, even though he had pulled it out on his own and did fine until they insisted on reinserting it. The hospital claimed a national shortage of propofol and put him on versed.

He was hustled off to a rehab hospital in the dead of the night where his broken rib was finally diagnosed and treated, he developed congestive heart failure from the versed and retained over 9000 cc of fluid. He developed a fatal pseudomonas infection 2 days after being trached. It was one disaster after another and I've since also learned that there was no shortage of propofol, the hospital lost their ability to utilize it because they failed to maintain adequate records of its use.

The rehab hospital was also experiencing a high incidence of ventilator related pseudomonas infections. He hadn't a chance to survive. To this day I cannot bring myself to walk into these facilities. Not once did anyone admit what happened. They were frantic to get rid of him as soon as possible from their facilities and he died just hours after again being shuffled hastily and without contacting me first, to a hospice center, alone.

In 2010, two of my three daughters encountered serious medical errors at the same hospital.

My youngest daughter was born in February with high bilirubin, which required an exchange transfusion, after ultraviolet lights didn't slow the climbing levels in her bloodstream. However, because of an air embolism in one of the catheters, she suffered a cardiac arrest that required a 43-minute resuscitation, resulting in serious brain damage. She will be two this Feb and has moderate cerebral palsy. She cannot walk, talk or use your muscles in the same way as other children.

The kicker is that our nine-year-old was born with brain damage as well. She has severe cerebral palsy because of a twin pregnancy in which her sister passed away inutero. In Dec. 2010, she underwent a spinal fusion surgery at the same hospital. After the surgery, she was receiving a medication dosage six times her normal, at-home dosage. The result of the medication caused respiratory distress and a sleep study to be performed. Because of the results, that were skewed because of the heavy dosage of medication, she underwent a tracheotomy.

Two errors. Two children. Same year. We're all survivors because now we have two children with cerebral palsy and we must continue to believe (and advocate) in the very science that failed us, as our children will require medical professionals for the rest of their lives.

Read our story http://thegortfamily.blogspot.com
or http://www.timgort.com

Following a minor surgery, my brother, who had pancreatic cancer, was given a bollus of Dilantin. shortly thereafter he went into a comma from which he never recovered. But it probably made an easier death from the terminal cancer.

In my case I don't think it was an error, but luck of coordination, organization, and possible nurses error or???

I recently 'visited' a famous hospital for a surgery... MY GOD WHAT AN EXPERIENCE...1. I didn't even know what type of surgery I was going to have until the day of the surgery because the 1st. surgeon refused to see me before or answered my phone calls... nor his secretary, his nurse or anyone else in his office. The second surgeon that was also going to be there DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING EITHER. He was surprised when the 1st. surgeon told him he has changed the surgery without telling anyone

2. In the hospital, the second day after the surgery, a resident-med.student (surgeon??) took me for a 20 minutes ride all over the hospital to take x-rays of my chest 12:00 midnight!!! ... when I asked him, he said because my heart was going too fast... and possible I was having a heart attack.

3. the 3th and the last night in the hospital the night nurse came to my room, give me a shot, she refused to tell me what kind of shot it was but 15 min. later I was hot, dizziness,sweaty I was not feeling well and I called the nurse and the assistant nurse etc. when they check my BLOOD PRESSURE it was 180 and 200 !! (my B.P. always has been low, between 115-68 apprx) they didn't know what to do, they waited 30 min. and my BP went down to 135. This happened twice. NOW I WONDER if something like this happened to another person and get very sick, the family or the dr. will never know what happened. I am not sure if I should say anything in charge in the hospital. I just can' believe it happened in this hospital. I was lucky nothing serious happened.

Thank you People's Pharmacy for a very needed program.

Perhaps now is the time to tell a very painful story. It might alert some listeners/readers who might tend to dismiss these findings on hospital errors.

Practically "never sick a day in his adult life" my father started feeling bad at age 58. He went to "the best" nearby university medical center. A cyst was found on his pancreas and removed. He returned home, and immediately felt well again.

But about three days later the hospital called saying that the biopsy on the tissue removed indicated that it may have been pancreatic cancer, which is known to spread rapidly to the stomach and intestine, and that, to safeguard against the further spread of the cancer, they recommended immediate surgery to remove the pancreas, part of the stomach, and part of the large intestine.

My mother tells the story that when they returned to the hospital to prepare for the second surgery an attending physician strongly urged my father to wait before undergoing what was considered radical surgery, of doubtful benefit, until there were clear signs that cancer of the pancreas was in fact present and that it was spreading. He explained that, without a pancreas, the patient would then have to take pig pancreas extract daily in order to digest food.

For reasons that never have been clear to me, Dad decided to undergo the surgery. He died about 18 months later at the age of 60. The pig pancreas extract did not work, and we watched a 6" 2', 210 pound man waste away. He weighed about 70 pounds when he died.

Our mother told us that, prior to making the final payments for the surgery, when she was going through the medical records sent by the hospital, she found a copy of the biopsy test report on the tissue from the cyst removal, and it was negative for cancer. Of course, the whole family was shocked, dismayed, and felt the incident was nearly unbelievable.

On the one hand it appears to be something other than a case of hospital error. On the other hand, in a broader context, it probably could be very successfully argued that, in fact, this was exactly a case of hospital error.

Actually, it is both the hospital and quack's fault.

I migrated to Australia 2 years ago from Singapore for better life. Soon after 3 months, the antihypertensive medicine ran out. I went to see a GP, he put me on Coversyl. Without knowing that I have been on calcium channel blocker and beta blocker for the past 10 years would mean switching to Ace inhibitor is quitting the former two cold turkey.

Soon, withdrawal symptoms developed. I had panic and insomnia. I was referred to a psychiatrist and I was told I have depression. I was then prescribed Cipramil, at the same time I was also taking Valerian root to help me sleep. The psychiatrist told me that there is no drug interaction between Cipramil and Valerian root. He said the side effect was dry mouth and can resolve by drinking more water.

Upon the very first dose, I developed tinnitus, full insomnia and heart palpitation. I called the PD the next day, he told me off not to tell him all these side effects and these were only temporary. I continue the medicine because he said it will take 4 weeks or more to be effective. The following few days, my I had visual hallucination, my blood pressure shot up to 180/110, I had difficulty urinating and I had constipation.

I went to see GP and he said my kidneys are ok, he added more antihypertensive medicine for me and asked me to continue Cipramil. After 1 week, I couldn't take it anymore and I went to A&E. I had not taken any food for the whole day and I felt full. The doctor in A&E checked my blood an told me I was fine and told me to go home.

That night, I vomited strongest acid juice ever from my stomach and I realized I had GI blockage. I did self irrigation to save my life and took antiacid syrup. I went to A&E again the next morning and now they treated me with for constipation and told me to go home. Two days later, I did not feel right and I went to A&E again and they tested my blood and found that there was low sodium in my blood and I was asked to stop Cipramil.

Few days later, I went to GP to have my blood test and they found my amalyse, lypase, Creatinine, Gama GT were high. It proved that my pancreas, liver and kidney were hurt in the whole episode. It took me 6 months before my blood test went back to normal level. I only took Cipramil for 10 days and it wrecked my life. I am now living with severe tinnitus and insomnia. Now trying to look for herbal treatment or TCM treatment.

After frequently repeated incidents of UTIs for well over a year, I asked my doctor to refer me to a urologist for tests. He said it was unnecessary and he treated me with medication appropriate for UTI. At that time things became so painful that a friend literally dragged me to her own doctor, then was referred to a urologist and the diagnosis was bladder cancer.

Chances are that it could have been better treated had it been discovered earlier. I was treated with BCG for over 2 years and finally I am cancer-free. However, the treatment left me with chronic pain in the bladder and the ureter and can not function without regular and constant pain medication.

The original doctor was stubborn and impatient when I asked for referrals to specialists... I changed doctors immediately, of course, but I find it difficult to be understanding and forgiving of his behavior.

Members of my breast cancer support group at the Anaheim Regional Medical Center, Anaheim, CA, have experienced rotator cuff pain and shoulder injury requiring surgery some time after radiation treatment for their breast cancer. We compared stories and found out that we were all put into uncomfortable positions for long periods of time, with little or no support and "foam" devices that would have horrified regular physical therapists.

We have received little or no response from the local radiology community which seems only interested in the dosages and concern if a patient "gets burned." It would be helpful to know if anyone else has experienced this and if any prescribed medication impacted the condition. i.e. fosamax was one of the medications these ladies were taking - perhaps the bone spurs resulting in shoulder tears came from that? Thank you.

How about the royal "screw up" the pharmacists at CVS Phramacy made when they gave the cancer drug Tamoxifen to children instead of fluride for dental protection. I bet you could write a sequel book entitled "Screwups Pharmacists Make And How To Avoid Them". It's catchy title and should sell a lot of books.

93 year old mother in assisted living losing weight, complaining of stomach pain and not eating much. Checked her meds, arrived at digoxin as cause of stomach pain, took her to doctor and requested change, taken of digoxin, no ill effects, stomach pain went away, slowly gained some weight.

Evidently all the years of doctor prescribed coumadin weren't needed either, she was taken off that as a result of a temporary induction into the hospice program, and never seemed to need it again. She's 96 now and doing fine. I wonder all the diet restrictions coumadin caused, if she would have eaten better if not on it. She never did like greens, though.

My hubby is on Oxycodine and Morphine and he came home with the wrong dosage - small town pharmacy. What should we do about it? We struggle with little income and I was hoping they would help us out with the fact we did not report it right away.

Contact the owner or head pharmacist and discuss the issue with them. Ask the pharmacist about a program that will help you with the meds financially.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

I live in Colorado where MMJ is available thru prescription. Why would a doctor say I'm not a candidate for MMJ when my chart is full of chronic pain issues, including fibromyalgia sciatica, nerve pain, insomnia, etc. What is her view of the use of MMJ? You have to have cancer or a disease that is fatal? I don't get it!

Reading all this just confirms what my mother and I went through the last 15 years. Mom died, I fought back from deaths' door thanks to my background in biochem and nutrition. We had both fought the "battle of the bulge" for years. We had tried everything. They were testing Prozac for weight loss. I even got in that. Didn't work, but I changed my doctor to the one that conducted the study locally.

In the late '90's Mom had RNY gastric bypass surgery. We knew some people who had it and, at the time seemed ok. At least one of them died later. Speaking for myself: I got second opinions, etc. My doctor knew how hard I'd tried to loose weight, he said I was showing signs of type II diabetes and RNY was the way to treat it. There was a lot of diabetes in my family. I gave in. The surgeon said to take a good multivitamin and cyanocobolimine (synthetic B12 - closed ring) shot monthly. He said my personal doctor would handle follow-up.

None did any blood work until I discovered what should have been done and insisted on it. When I started having complications, I went to him. He still told me to have the plastic surgery in 2003. Scars didn't heal right, been in constant PAIN since. Went to specialist after specialist for about 10 years.

Labeled "drug seeking" - they didn't know the difference from "pain-relief-seeking". Research on my own. Started taking benfotiamine (natural B12 - open ring) and other natural supplements about 2 years ago. A year and a half ago Mom died from it. I was fighting it and couldn't be with her. I know she suffered. I did and am.

I have improved significantly. I put my foot down and tell doctors right up front that my health is a partnership and I won't take anything or have any procedures that I don't research and approve. Known syndrome: malnourish syndrome due to gastric bypass. Stupid doctors!! Broke my collarbone about a year ago. Boniva - H*** NO! They want to put a pin in. Not until I'm comfortable that my immune system is no longer compromised. That's what killed Mom. Osteoporosis, knee replaced, infection, death. Not for me! So far the doctors I'm with are working with me. Good.

I filed against several of my doctors. Same thing - past the time limits and nothing I could do. We're paying a couple hundred dollars a month just for the supplements I need and wouldn't if the doctors had took their heads out of the sand. Insurance won't cover it (I have good insurance) and can't claim it on 1040 Sch A (big pharma??). I don't trust mainstream medicine as far as I can research it. Yes, I'm a little bit bitter over what's happened to my mother and me.

to SFE. I am sorry what happened to you and your mother… I too had bad experience with a few doctors - now I have a very good one, thank God!!-
my question is, can you please explain to me what it means :B12 closed ring and B12 open ring? I need vitamin B12 (since I am diabetic and taking metformin). and where can I get the natural vitamin B12 open ring? Thanks a lot.

The doctors didn't know when to stop with antibiotics when I had a case of Pneumonia. After having a clear x-ray, I was still having difficulty breathing and was given yet another antibiotic ALONG with symbicort inhaler.

To make a long story shorter, I have been to a series of Infectious diseases doctors and ENT, after developing a white tongue. Finally, the KOH test came back C. Parapsilosis.
I am still searching for a doctor who is knowledgeable about it and accepts my insurance to treat it. I have been paying out of pocket to a holistic/integrative doctor who does not accept medical insurance, but does more diagnostic bloodwork than any doctor I've ever been in my life.

I had been a healthy person my whole life, now I have a chronic fungal infection.

Try taking vitamim B-15.

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