Saturday, October 2, 2010

Our Responsibility and Medical Errors

According to Institute of Medicine, in the year 2000 between 44,000 & 98,000 unnecessary deaths and more than a million injuries occured due to medical error.

Another study by Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, shows that medical errors may be the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. Some of these deaths occur as a result of drug interactions or severe side effects. These happen while using the drugs correctly.

This is not the disease causing the death or injury. This human error.

Within 1 week I had 2 patients come in complaining about side effects of their statin (cholesterol lowering) and Lasix (blood pressure reducing). Both had started their statin 1st and then later had high blood pressure (HBP). In both cases the doctors did not try a non-statin cholesterol lowering drug. A percentage of the population gets HBP from statins. Rather than try a different prescription for the high cholesterol another drug was prescribed to treat the HBP. No other approach was tried even after the woman complained about the side effects.

By changing diets and using herbs I was able do reduce the cholesterol in both patients so low that they did not need the statin which then lowered their HBP so they could get off that drug also.

Neither doctor had checked the side effects of the drugs. Neither doctor counseled on diet. They just wrote another prescription.

Western medicine in emergency situations is fantastic but there are so many drugs available that it has become difficult for doctors & nurses to keep track. It has become the patient's responsibility to watch what is going on.

Report All new symptoms and feelings. Ask questions. Be a partner in your health and recovery.