Monday, March 22, 2010
MORE INSPIRATION FROM BRITAIN
Four articles below from ONE DAY show what Americans can expect under Obamacare
The NHS bungles never stop
Man left infertile after wrong testicle disabled
A man was left infertile when he had part of the wrong testicle removed by surgeons. Doctors were supposed to cut away the patient's right epididymis - one of two narrow tubes connected to the testes which is used to store mature sperm. But the patient's left epididymis was removed by mistake at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Surgeons had to operate on his again to take out his other epididymis after the blunder was discovered and the man was left infertile.
Officials at the NHS hospital have refused to identify the man or confirm if he was paid compensation.
A major investigation was launched into the error and the hospital has now introduced more stringent procedures to stop it happening again. Nigel Kee, the hospital's interim chief operating officer, said: "The safety of our patients is our number one priority. "As such, we take any incidents which compromise safety extremely seriously.
"A thorough investigation into this case was carried out by an independent consultant, who advised us to introduce an additional hospital-wide policy giving clearer instructions on marking and verifying sites prior to surgery. "We implemented this recommendation immediately."
British TV star's death was 'unnecessary and preventable': Her doctor launches attack on NHS
Jade Goody's death was preventable and a result of 'incompetence and neglect' by the NHS, a leading doctor and Harley Street consultant claimed today. One year after the 27-year-old died on March 22, Dr Ann Coxon said Goody's symptoms - which included heavy and irregular bleeding, pain and abnormal smear tests - were 'glaringly obvious'.
The former NHS doctor claimed the reality television star had a tangerine-sized tumour which medical experts failed to spot. 'There should have been alarm bells ringing,' she told The Sun. 'Jade's death was completely unnecessary and preventable. She died of neglect and incompetence.'
Despite strong evidence of cervical cancer, Jade did not suspect anything serious was wrong due to her medical history. 'She'd had abnormal smear tests since she was 16 so by the time she was 27 it didn't worry her much, because she didn't really know what it meant,' Coxon said. 'It had never been properly explained to her.
'After she was diagnosed she said to me, in that typically Jade way, "I'm not daft. If I'd known it was to do with cancer, I'd have been checked out every three months". She added: 'Jade realised she had been let down. She simply said, "Sometimes people make mistakes".'
The mother-of-two, who became a star as a contestant on Big Brother, refused to attend scheduled smear tests after being told she could not have any more children, Coxon alleged. This was nine months prior to her diagnosis.
Jade was given an ultrasound at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, in August 2008. She then flew to India to appear in a reality television show after doctors had confirmed she could travel. However, results of a smear test - only performed because a nurse noticed she had skipped appointments - revealed cancerous cells. Goody received the news she had cervical cancer on camera and flew back to the UK where she was treated by Coxon.
The doctor said: 'An ultrasound should be able to pick up lesions just 1.2mm wide, and Jade had a tumour the size of a tangerine. It should have been blindingly obvious.'
Jade underwent an emergency hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy - but it was too late to save the star. 'She probably had cancer for at least a year before her diagnosis. The abnormal smear tests were signs that she was high-risk,' said Coxon. 'She was only diagnosed because of one nurse bothering to do her job.'
Girl, 9, saved by optician after NHS doctors fail to spot plum-sized brain tumour SIX times
For money reasons, diagnostic scans are avoided
A nine-year-old girl whose brain tumour was missed by doctors six times was saved by opticians after her worried mother took her for an eye test. Shanice Bailey could have been left paralysed by a rare plum-sized 'schwannoma' tumour growing out of a nerve and pressing on her brain stem. She visited GPs six times between September 2009 and January this year complaining of headaches and sickness but was repeatedly diagnosed with asthma and sent away.
Only when Shanice developed a squint in her left eye did her mother Laura, 27, decide to take her for an eye test - where Specsavers optician Nadia Ahmed immediately spotted the growth. Ms Ahmen told Ms Bailey to take her daughter straight to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk, where a scan revealed the two inch tumour. Eleven days later surgeons removed the tumour in a nine-hour operation.
Despite spending a month in hospital with side-effects Shanice is now at home recovering with her family. Ms Bailey, from Wisbech, Cambs., said she would be forever grateful to the optician. ‘It's so lucky we went to Specsavers when we did, otherwise the effects could have been devastating. ‘I kept taking Shanice back to the doctor as her symptoms got worse and more frequent. ‘Originally they said her symptoms could mean anything but then they thought it was asthma because she was coughing when she was sick. ‘She has been so brave it was unbelievable - she hasn't cried once.
‘If they hadn't have found the tumour she could have died because it was blocking fluid at the top of her spine. ‘I don't necessarily blame the doctors but they should be given more training to check for problems in these areas. Just because it's rare doesn't mean they should ignore it.’
Laura took Shanice to the Clarkson Surgery in Wisbech over five months where she was seen three times by one GP and by a different doctor on every other occasion. On their last visit, the doctor referred Shanice for an appointment with a paediatrician on January 20 to work out why her mystery symptoms were persisting.
But she had the eye appointment on January 3 where optician Ms Ahmen used a magnifying light that picked up swelling on the optic nerves.
The schwannoma tumour is usually only found in elderly women but the benign growth was coming out of Shanice's hyoglossal nerve and blocking fluid at the top of her spine. A week after her surgery the youngster also suffered from a vasospasm, where blood gets into the brain, and needed a second operation to drain cerebrospinal fluid.
Shanice said she felt great after her ordeal. ‘I feel so much better now. I can do things I couldn't do before like my favourite street dancing classes,’ she said.
Trevor Lawson, a spokesman for Brain Tumour UK, said Shanice's type of tumour was extremely rare in such a young child. ‘To my knowledge in the last five years no children were reported to have suffered that from type of tumour, which was responsible for only six per cent of all adult cases,’ he said. ‘The challenge for doctors is that brain tumours can present with common symptoms and we regularly support people who were diagnosed after an eye test.’
Paul Eagling, manager of Specsavers in Wisbech, said he was ‘extremely pleased’ they had been able to spot the growth. ‘Benign tumours can leave people with long term problems and we believe every brain tumour case should be given the same level of attention as cancer. ‘People tend to only go to the opticians when they have problems with their eyesight but regular visits to the optician are vital for checking general eye health.’
Hundreds may have died in British ambulance blunder
An inquiry is being demanded into ambulance services after a Sunday Telegraph investigation uncovered a major flaw in the 999 [emergency number] system that may have left hundreds dead. Doctors, politicians and charities have called for the inquiry to examine how a mistake by ambulance chiefs led to delays in despatching paramedics.
The scandal is exposed by the death of a woman who was left for 38 minutes after an emergency call was received despite the fact that she was unconscious and breathing abnormally, having fallen 12ft. Call handlers following automated advice provided by a computer program categorised the case of Bonnie Mason, who died last May, as a lower priority than that of a drunk woman who had fallen on the pavement. By the time paramedics reached Mrs Mason, 58, she could not be saved.
An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered a critical danger placed in the software used by most ambulance services. It meant that for a decade, 999 calls in which a patient lay unconscious and struggled to breathe after a fall of 6ft or more were “downgraded”, with call handlers told not to send the most urgent response. Some services told operatives to “override” the flaw, but The Sunday Telegraph has established that five out of 12 of England’s ambulance trusts told call handlers not to diverge from the automated advice.
Last night experts demanded an inquiry to establish how many patients had suffered because of the blunders. John Heyworth, of the College of Emergency Medicine, said the potential risks were devastating. He said: “Any system which isn’t prioritising accurately needs review because the consequences are so catastrophic.”
Peter Walsh, of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents last night expressed horror at the dangers. He said: “Who knows how many people this could have harmed and how many may have died? Given the volumes of 999 calls involving people who have fallen and are unconscious, there is a risk that thousands were affected. Who knows how many might have died – it could be hundreds, but even if it’s just one needless death, we need a full review.”
The problem occurred when a government committee which governs the use of computerised 999 software allocated a lower priority to falls of 6ft or more than had been recommended by the system’s makers. As a result, the automated system instructed call handlers to class such calls as category B even if the person was also unconscious or breathing abnormally – life-threatening conditions which should have had the most urgent response. The Department of Health said the risk had been eliminated from the latest version of the software, introduced last year.
Posted by JR at 12:41 AM