Saturday, June 30, 2007

Autopsy report ~ Edith Isabel Rodriguez suffered " Adhesion Related Disorder!"

Edith Isabel Rodriguez suffered " Adhesion Related Disorder!" A contributory if not THE end means disease of which she died!

Edith Isabel Rodriguez was a victim of "Adhesion Related Disorder," just as IHRT suspected and predicted.
This prediction was something that no medical "professional" was able to predict, suspect and most disturbing to IHRT, was not able to diagnose properly!

Edith presented to the ER a number of times over a short period of time, "was called a "frequent flyer" prescribed analgesics for pain, miss-diagnosed due to the lack of knowledge of ARD, and worse, lack of medical intervention, inhumane treatment and ultimately met her death lying on the floor in the waiting area of Martin Luther King Hospital in LA, with a janitor cleaning around her pain riddled body as loved ones and other patients watched in disbelief!

The sad truth is that hundreds, maybe thousands of persons afflicted with ARD are receiving this very same "lack of treatment" in ER's all over the USA....and if this med student web site is any indication of the caliber of "Dr.'s" who are going to fill these ER's, person afflicted with ARD face this same type of death without dignity or proper medical intervention, just as Edith did!

Read the Adhesion Quilt for stories very similar to Edith's as each person pleads for help from one of the most painful conditions imaginable. ARD patients can be "frequent flyers" to E.R.. It's actually a common phrase in an adhesion sufferer's story.

Not only was Edith's death a tragedy, it appears that her autopsy was just as "sloppy" and "crude" as her death at the hands of "medical professionals!" Her autopsy report is filled with errors and inconsistencies as the hands of those in the corner's office of LA who did the "investigation" & "autopsy!" Would this have happened if "Edith I. Rodriguez" was "Anna Nicole Smith?"

Edith Isabel Rodriguez seems to have been treated as a "Jane Doe" at the coroner's office.

.........Until you know what hit the fan.

BOTH these ladies seemed to have a history of drug taking, with "Anna Nicole Smith" appearing to be the worst of the two, both died young, and both were taking prescription medication at the time of their deaths..and that is where the similarities seem to end!
IHRT called it correctly, and NOT one medical person was able to do that, and we did it without the autopsy results! We will say that, "WE told you so!"

Edith Isabel Rodriguez "Adhesion Related Disorder"

Post-surgical intra-abdominal adhesions

Date of birth: 2/1/1964

Date of death: 5/9/2007

Place of death: Martin Lutheran King - LA

Pg. 1 Synopsis: History of "illicit narcotic" abuse" no mention of an "Iatrogenic" disorder!

Pg. 2 In dormant/witness statement: Diagnostic tests results - Negative for abnormal pathology

Autopsy exam:

Pg. 1 Anatomical summary: D - Lower abdominal and pelvic regions with adhesions.

Pg. 2 NO tracking from illicit drugs..(IHRT asks:"so just how bad was the "Illicit drug taking?")

Pg. 3 Evidence of "old surgery" scar at middle lower portion of the abdomen midline just under the umbilicus is vertically oriented and measures 7.5 inches. (Laporotomy)

Pg. 4 Prior Appendectomy - Extensive adhesions in the lower abdominal quadrant! (IHRT adds that THIS is a VERY painful condition!)

Edith's autopsy report states that she died after "collapsing in the ER" and "not being able to be resuscitated," no mention that Edith lay bleeding and withering in pain on the floor of the ER in full view of the ER staff!
Edith's autopsy reports gives her age as both 43 years of age, AND 53 years of age! Edith's autopsy report states that she did not have any bowel strangulation, but adhesions most certainly narrow the intestinal passages and constricts constipated stool!

One x-ray could have seen the mega colon and thus her life could have been saved.

Was she ignored because this E.R suspected she had adhesions and also needed emergency surgery.
Adhesions are usually a surgeons worst nightmare!
Adhesions are can be dangerous to lyse. Adhesiolysis can be very time consuming thus offers a medical facility no profits.
Most surgeons are pretty nervous about their medical malpractice rates.

IHRT suspects that many are turned away and discriminated against just for having prior surgeries or if the word adhesions is on any post op report.
IHRT says very possible!

Edith's autopsy report states her death was an "accidental!"

Edith Isabel Rodriguez is, sadly, a prime example of what persons afflicted with ARD face when seeking medical intervention for their pain and various symptoms!

Edith's death was NOT due to diabetes, hypertension, overweight, nor gender, race, being rich or poor, having a criminal record or not, drug addiction, being transient in nature, being a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a person....Edith died because she had, "Adhesion Related Disorder" and this IS how persons afflicted with ARD are treated by medical "professionals" in Emergency Rooms all across the USA!

IHRT predicts that this treatment is not likely to get better after reading the comments by "medical students" in the following link! Non of the med students had a clue as to what might have caused Edith's symptoms, and why she presented so often to the ER, nor why all the diagnostic tests were "normal!" IHRT knew the answer to ALL of those answers, and they was right!
Many adhesion sufferers immediately thought, " Edith IS one of us I bet" and now we have obtained the horrible truth of the matter. The autopsy confirmed our worse fears,

Read "Edith's Autopsy " report for yourself!

Edith Isabel Rodriguez had severe abdominal adhesions.

Edith Isabel Rodriguez will save many lives we pray with her tragic posthumous story.

Adhesion sufferers should be forever armed at all times with our operative reports and Edith Rodriguez' autopsy report.

Firmly stand your ground.

You will be presenting to the likes of these medical professions in the future. Here is the link, "Student Doctor Network Forums"

LADoc00 writes:

"The lady was a drug addict and had warrants for her arrest. Why does anyone think this was unintentional?? Was she even a US citizen FFS? On the face of it, saving her would have been FAR more of a tragedy for America.LET THESE PEOPLE DIE. I cant stress this enough.I want to give MLK adminstrators a medal for this not my scorn.
__________________Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow; The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow."
Is he just kidding?? IHRT can't tell!

These are the facts, plain and simple..and this was "Manslaughter," plain and simple!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Composix Kugel Mesh Patches Recall and class action suit

The US Food and Drug Administration along with Davol, Inc., a subsidiary of C.R. Bard, Inc., have instituted a recall of certain models of the Bard Composix Kugel Mesh Patch. The patches are used for the repair of hernias caused by thinning or stretching of scar tissue that forms after hernia surgery.

How the patch is usedThe folded patch is placed inside the abdominal cavity through an incision and positioned behind the hernia. The patch is then unfolded and held open by a plastic "memory recoil ring" once it is in place. There have been reports that this ring has broken and created a number of health problems for the patients.The hernia repair device was recalled because of these reports. If the ring should break, the broken ends could poke through th mesh and create bowel perforations and/or a condition called "chronic enteric fistulae." The ring is designed to aid in deployment of the patch, but it can break when increased stress is placed on it during certain surgical placement techniques.According to the FDA Recall Notice "Patients who have been implanted with a Composix Kugel Mesh Patch during hernia surgery should seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms that could be associated with ring breakage. These symptoms include:unexplained or persistent abdominal pain, fever, tenderness at the surgery site or other unusual symptoms."In a March-24-06 recall notice, Bard recommends that health care professionals "Immediately discontinue use of the specific product codes and lot numbers listed below. Additionally, please immediately distribute copies of this Important Patient Management Information to clinicians who may have implanted, or who may be managing, patients already implanted with one of these products under voluntary recall."The product codes for the Dec-05, Jan-06 and Mar-06 recalls are:
Bard Composix Kugel
Extra Large Oval
8.7" x 10.7"
Bard Composix Kugel
Extra Large Oval
10.8" x 13.7"
Bard Composix Kugel
Extra Large Oval
7.7" x 9.7"
Bard Composix Kugel
6.3" x 12.3"
Bard Composix Kugel Large
5.4" x 7"
Bard Composix Kugel
Large Circle
Kugel Mesh Stories and ArticlesFDA Warned Kugel Mesh Patch Maker of Serious ViolationDavol Inc., maker of the Bard Composix Kugel Mesh Patch, was issued a warning letter in 2006 from the FDA, citing serious problems with quality assurance systems used during the manufacturing process of the patch. The FDA also found that Davol did not report the possible severity of complaints that it received. Another Kugel Mesh Lawsuit FiledAnother lawsuit has been filed against Davol Inc., regarding the company's Kugel Mesh Patch. The lawsuit was filed in May and alleges a man died because of a defective hernia repair patch. Dan's Story: Routine Surgery Gone WrongKugel Mesh? Get Your Surgical ReportComposix Kugel Mesh: Imagine if it Breaks Inside of YouKugel Mesh Compromised My HealthMedical Devices - April 2007 Litigation Update Part IITo the Makers of Kugel Mesh: Cover My Medical ExpensesKugel Mesh Infection: One Woman’s AccountKugel Mesh Cause of DeathKugel Mesh Recall Too Late for SomeKugel Mesh Patch Messed UpKugel Mesh Recall Updated to Class 1Kugel Mesh One Big MessKugel Mesh Recalls – A TimelineKugel Mesh Patches: More Units RecalledKugel Mesh Patches Lead to LawsuitKugel Mesh One Big MessKugel Mesh Patches Considered a Serious RecallKugel Mesh Patch: Recalled due to Serious InjuriesInjuries and Death Reported in Patients Implanted with Bard Kugel Mesh PatchKugel Mesh Patches Recalled

Adhesions ARD Medical Headlines ARDvark Blog

Emergency Departments Overcrowded, Understaffed, Witnesses Testify At House Committee Hearing

As Many As 1.2M Hospital Patients Infected With MRSA Annually, Study Finds

Nursing2007 Survey Report Reveals Improvements Needed In Infection Control

Organon's Once-A-Month Contraceptive Ring, NuvaRing® Completes European Authorization

Never Mind Dying Pain Free, They Should Be Living Pain Free

AMA Calls For Investigation Of Retail Health Clinics

Clinical Trial Confirms New Laxative Safe For Everyone, Including Elderly

Estrogen HRT Can Limit Plaque Accumulation In Arteries, Study Says

Release Of 'Sicko' Places Democratic Presidential Candidates In Difficult Position

Cedars-Sinai Endocrine Researchers Discuss Gene That May Be Linked To Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Research Into Why Common Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Harm Intestines

Requiring HPV Vaccination For School-Age Girls For Upcoming School Year 'Too Soon,' Researcher Says


Flatulence, or gas, is air formed in the intestines as food is being digested. Gas is passed through the rectum and can make a person feel bloated or experience abdominal pain or discomfort. Everyone has gas, and on average eliminate it about 14 times a day. Gas is made of odorless vapors, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen. The odor of gas comes from the bacteria in the large intestine that release gases like sulfur. Gas can make a person feel bloated or cause cramping in the abdominal area.

Gas can be caused by a number of things. Gas in the digestive tract comes from two places: swallowed air and the breakdown of certain undigested foods, not broken down naturally. Foods that are difficult to digest and often cause flatulence are carbohydrates, for example sugars, starches and fiber. Undigested food passes from the small intestine into the large intestine. In the large intestine, harmless bacteria break down the food producing certain gases, like hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and in some people methane. These gases exit the body through the rectum. Those people who produce methane do not necessarily produce more gas, or have different symptoms related to gas.
Food containing carbohydrates causes more gas, and foods with fat and protein cause less. The sugars that cause gas include raffinose, lactose and sorbitol. Raffinose, a complex sugar, is found in many vegetables including beans, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus and whole grains. Lactose, found in milk products, is the natural sugar found in milk. Lactose can also be found in some processed foods like bread, salad dressing and cereal. Research has shown that lactose intolerance is found more commonly among the African, Native American and Asian ethnicities. These people have lower levels of the enzyme, lactase, which develops in childhood.
Fructose is found in onions, artichokes, pears and wheat. It is also used to sweeten fruit and soft drinks. Sorbitol, is a natural sugar found in some fruits including apples, pears, prunes and peaches. Sorbitol is also an ingredient used as artificial sweetener in “sugar free” candy and diet foods.
Starches also cause gas. Starchy foods that can cause flatulence include corn, pasta, potatoes and wheat. These food items are not easily digested in the large intestine. Rice, however, does not cause gas. Lastly, fiber also can be a key cause of gas. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Water can easily break down soluble fibers, found in oat bran, beans, peas and most fruits. Soluble fibers are not broken down until the large intestine. The delay in digestion can cause gas. On the other hand, insoluble fiber produces little gas as it does not change in the digestion process through the intestines. This type of fiber can be found in wheat bran and some vegetables.
However, foods that cause gas in one person may not affect the other. Take notes on what causes you to have gas and avoid those foods. The bacteria in a person’s stomach which can destroy the gases, like hydrogen, vary from person to person. The balance of bacteria is a contributing factor to the amount of gas a person experiences. Gas can also be caused by swallowing air while eating. Eating or drinking too fast, chewing gum and smoking are all ways to swallow more air. Certain foods and swallowing air are two common ways to have flatulence. However, some people experience gas because of other more serious concerns. Lactose intolerance, or the intolerance of dairy products, can cause one to have excessive gas. Persons with irritable bowl syndrome, or IBS, also suffer from excessive gas. IBS is a chronic stomach disorder, and can worsen with increased stress. IBS is a complex disorder of the intestinal tract that causes disruption in bowel habits often resulting in constipation and diarrhea. Another more serious cause of flatulence is malabsorption problems. This is caused by a body’s inability to absorb or digest certain nutrients properly. Malabsorption is usually accompanied by diarrhea.
Cures and Treatment of Flatulence
To avoid gas, keep these few remedies in mind. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. Relax while eating. Avoid the foods that cause discomfort as mentioned earlier like beans and carbonated drinks. Also, try taking a walk after eating for 10 or 15 minutes to increase digestion. It also helps to drink a soothing tea like chamomile or peppermint after a meal to avoid gas. Changing your diet can be a key way to avoid gas as well.
Over-the-counter medicines work well to cure excessive gas and prevent gas as well. Antacids and digestive enzymes are the most common nonprescription, over-the-counter remedies. Antacids contain simethicone, which combines with gas bubbles in the stomach to remove the gas.
For those who have problems digesting lactose, the enzyme lactase, can help and is also available over-the-counter. Taking or chewing lactose tablets is recommended before meals to help digest those foods while eating. Lactose-free milk products are also available, and can be a good solution to avoid gas. Another recommended remedy is Beano, which contains an enzyme to help digest sugar found in vegetables and beans. Beano is taken before meals as well. If you are having more chronic problems, it could be attributed to a more serious problem, like IBS, and you should see a doctor. Prescription medicines are available to tackle the excessive gas sometimes caused by IBS. You should call your physician if you are having other symptoms in addition to flatulence, like heartburn, intense abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation.
Remember, flatulence is very common, and it is not life-threatening. While it may be unpleasant and embarrassing, there are ways to reduce the symptoms and prevent gas. Altering your diet is the best way to avoid gas. It is also helpful to use over-the-counter medicines that aid in digestion and reducing the amount of air swallowed. Also, a person’s enzyme levels tend to decrease with age, so gas may be a more persistent problem as a person ages. But a close eye on diet choices can be successful in the prevention of flatulence.

Half Sando incubators not working, says doctor

Ariti Jankie South Bureau
Saturday, June 23rd 2007
There are 14 incubators at the San Fernando General Hospital to treat newborn babies with problems. But if more than seven babies needed incubators, the hospital would be in a fix-that's because only seven are working.
There was also a lack of water and a shortage of nurses and doctors to look after the babies.
This was the picture painted yesterday by consultant paediatrician at the hospital's neo-natal unit, Dr Kerryn Brahim.
He said that a 6,000-gallon tank placed on the rooftop also fails to supply water due to faulty plumbing. The water shortage placed newborn babies at risk of contamination.
Brahim said there was a big improvement in infrastructure at the hospital, but maintenance was poor.
"It takes too long to have equipment repaired," he said, adding that a lack of incubators forced the nursing staff to provide a heat shield or double layers of clothing to keep the babies warm.
"The nurses are overworked and they have been doing as much work as they can. If things go wrong they are not to be blamed," Brahim added.
He pulled no punches as he related the problems faced on the ward, in light of the injuries suffered by baby Joshua Williams this week.
Brahim said the tissue burns on little Joshua's left foot could have been prevented.
"With sufficient staff the burn could at least have been minimised," Brahim said, adding that grafting would have to be done to the baby's foot.
The baby's mother, Marcia Marcano, of Guayaguayare, told the Express her baby's foot was burnt and his skin peeled off where tubes were attached to his body. She said Joshua, who was born with a congenital deformity of the intestine, weighed 11.5 pound at birth on May 4 but now weighs 6.01 pounds.
Brahim said baby Joshua was slowly recovering "hour by hour". He said the baby started vomiting after birth and was operated on to take out an affected segment of his bowel. The baby later developed adhesions (abnormal union of bodily tissues) and was sent back to surgery where a colostomy was done to reduce obstruction with the bowel opening out to the skin.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Superbug may strike 5 percent of hospital, nursing home patients

Story Highlights• Study: Drug-resistant staph may hit 5 percent of hospital, nursing home patients• New figure is 10 times rate of some previous estimates• Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus responds to few antibiotics
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A dangerous, drug-resistant staph germ may be infecting as many as 5 percent of hospital and nursing home patients, according to a comprehensive study.
At least 30,000 U.S. hospital patients may have the superbug at any given time, according to a survey released Monday by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.
The estimate is about 10 times the rate that some health officials had previously estimated.
Some federal health officials said they had not seen the study and could not comment on its methodology or its prevalence. But they welcomed added attention to the problem.
"This is a welcome piece of information that emphasizes that this is a huge problem in health care facilities, and more needs to done to prevent it," said Dr. John Jernigan, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At issue is a superbug known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which cannot be tamed by certain common antibiotics. It is associated with sometimes-horrific skin infections, but it also causes blood infections, pneumonia and other illnesses.
The potentially fatal germ, which is spread by touch, typically thrives in health care settings where people have open wounds. But in recent years, "community-associated" outbreaks have occurred among prisoners, children and athletes, with the germ spreading through skin contact or shared items such as towels.
Past studies have looked at how common the superbug is in specific patient groups, such as emergency-room patients with skin infections in 11 U.S. cities, dialysis patients or those admitted to intensive care units in a sample of a few hundred teaching hospitals.
It's difficult to compare prevalence estimates from the different studies, experts said, but the new study suggests the superbug is eight to 11 times more common than some other studies have concluded.
Study was larger, more diverse
The new study was different in that it sampled a larger and more diverse set of health care facilities. It also was more recent than other studies, and it counted cases in which the bacterium was merely present in a patient and not necessarily causing disease.
The infection control professionals' association sent surveys to its more than 11,000 members and asked them to pick one day from Oct. 1 to Nov. 10, 2006, to count cases of the infection. They were to turn in the number of all the patients in their health care facilities who were identified through test results as infected or colonized with the superbug.
The final results represented 1,237 hospitals and nursing homes _ or roughly 21 percent of U.S. inpatient health care facilities, association officials said.
The researchers concluded that at least 46 out of every 1,000 patients had the bug.
There was a breakdown: About 34 per 1,000 were infected with the superbug, meaning they had skin or blood infections or some other clinical symptom. And 12 per 1,000 were "colonized," meaning they had the bug but no illness.
Most of the patients were identified within 48 hours of hospital admission, which means, the researchers believe, that they didn't have time to become infected to the degree that a test would show it. For that reason, the researchers concluded that about 75 percent of patients walked into the hospitals and nursing homes already carrying the bug.
"They acquired it in a previous stay in health care facility, or out in the community," said Dr. William Jarvis, a consulting epidemiologist and former CDC officials who led the study.
The infection can be treated with other antibiotics. Health care workers can prevent spread of the bug through hand-washing and equipment decontamination, and by wearing gloves and gowns and by separating infected people from other patients.
The study is being presented this week at the association's annual meeting in San Jose, California, but has not been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Source CNN

Sicko ~ Getting Away With Murder

Sicko Getting Away With Murder

"They are getting away with murder."
-- Michael Moore (AUDIO VIDEO: Low, High)

Batten the Hatches
Amerigroup Corp.'s chairman and chief executive, Jeff McWaters, says 'SiCKO' is a "headline risk" for the health insurance industry overall

$2,100,000,000,000 Per Year

'What can I do?' - SiCKO

Sicko now in NYC the film opens June 29th... EVERYWHERE

"...the writer-director's most effective provocation yet."
-- Newsday

"...Moore's most assured, least antagonistic and potentially most important film."
-- New York Daily News

"...sustained standing ovation from the packed audience..."
-- FOX News

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Complex Abdomino-Pelvic & Pain Syndrome

It's not just....
Pelvic Pain
Interstitial cystitis
Irritable bowel syndrome
Complex Abdomino-Pelvic & Pain Syndrome
Welcome to the International Society for Complex Abdomino-Pelvic & Pain Syndrome. (ISCAPPS).
ISCAPPS was formed as a result of the work done by Dr. Wiseman and the thousands of patients who visited the International Adhesions Society (
Initially we looked at the problem of adhesions and saw that it was really a problem of a set of symptoms which we termed "Adhesions Related Disorder" or ARD.
Our more recent work has led to the realisation that adhesions and ARD are part of a wider set of overlapping and coalescing conditions including ENDOMETRIOSIS, Pelvic Pain, Interstitial Cystitis (IC), Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and even fibromyalgia.
We now understand that a patient presenting with say chronic pelvic pain, may very well have, or develop bowel and bladder problems, as well as psycho-social issues that develop as a result of their condition.
Attempting to treat these conditions as separate entities for the most part is an exercise in frustration. Although they may start out as separate conditions, they end up as essentially one condition - CAPPS.
What is needed is a multi-disciplinary and integrated or holistic approach. And to start we need to understand these individual conditions in the context of a family of conditions to which they belong.
Once we understand the disease we can begin on its prevention and treatment.
Accordingly we have coined the term:

Complex Abdomino-Pelvic & Pain Syndrome
and established an internet-based society:
International Society for Complex Abdomino-Pelvic & Pain Syndrome.
For more information please contact Dr. David Wiseman
Our first task has been to develop the world's first clinic for the integrated diagnosis and treatment of CAPPS in conjunction with a major hospital group in Florida.
Much Thanks to Dr. Wiseman for all he does!

Daniel Kruschinski's next book = A new experience...

A New Adventure for we will be reading that he is "teleconsulting" all over the world!

What you read here tells you the low class "surgeons" who associate themselves with these "congress's!" Of course, we all know that Maher and Kru are, well buddy's, so like Mettler, he has Kru in his pocket! Probably because Kru has something over him and even if Mahr wanted to disassociate himself from Kru, he couldn't!

The picture of Pete Maher Kruschinski kept in his 8X10 no less!

For the "Indian Association of Gynecologic Endoscopy" to have a criminal like Kruschinski listed in your membership roster and then give him coverage in a congress publicity post is sheer lunacy as all it does is bring the whole congress to a lower level and does nothing for the "professionalism" of everyone else there!

Is it a wonder they have no decent medical care in that country!

Looks to IHRT like Mahr will only bring the ISGE even further down then Reich least it looks like a good start in that direction!
Put these two on the "list" of Kruschinski "buddies...meaning that in IHRTs opinion, they are as unethical as he is is they are aligned with him!
Dr. Peter Maher,
Dr. Arnaud Wattiez (France)

A new D. Kruschinski

Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 @ 03:09 AM

Friday I had for the first time a lecture transmitted via Satelite to Ahmedabad, India at the IAGE2007 congress (Indian Association of Gynecologic Endoscopy). It was a new experience for me, not to be there and to lecture by satelite. Anyway, as I have many friends in India and were siting the audience, I could feel a very good interaction, even if I wasn't there. Such Satelite-Live-Video-Conference might be helpfull in future congresses as the organising comitte can save money for travels of the speakers and the lecturers can save time.

Kruschinski, it is called "Satellite Video Conference" NOT "Teleconsulting" (which means nothing!)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Adhesions Clinical Trials

from Search term, "Adhesions"

37 studies were found.
DuraGen Plus® Adhesion Barrier for Use in Spinal SurgeryConditions: Spinal Injuries; Adhesions
Pregabalin for Abdominal Pain From AdhesionsConditions: Abdominal Pain; Surgical Adhesions
Collagenase in the Treatment of Zone II Flexor Tendon Adhesions in the HandCondition: Hand Zone II Flexor Tendon Adhesions
Pediatric Multicenter Study of REPEL-CVCondition: Adhesions
Use of G-CSF to Obtain Blood Cell PrecursorsConditions: Chronic Granulomatous Disease; Healthy; Immunologic Disease; Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency Syndrome; Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
Determination of Lymphocyte JAM-C Expression in Patients With Psoriasis VulgarisConditions: Psoriasis; Psoriasis Vulgaris
Effect of Exercise and Diet on Inflammation in Hypertensive IndividualsCondition: Hypertension
Blood Factors and Diabetic RetinopathyCondition: Diabetic Retinopathy
Evaluation of Patients With Immune Function AbnormalitiesCondition: Immune System Diseases
Not yet recruiting
Oxidative Stress Lowering Effect of Simvastatin and Atorvastatin.Conditions: Diabetes Mellitus; Hypertension
Irbesartan/Hydrochlorothiazide National Taiwan University Hospital ListingCondition: Hypertension
Familial Mediterranean Fever and Related Disorders: Genetics and Disease CharacteristicsCondition: Periodic Disease
Combination Chemotherapy After Surgery in Treating Patients With Stage I, Stage II, or Stage III Breast CancerCondition: Breast Cancer
Study of the Arachidonate 5-Lipoxygenase Enzyme in Affecting the Risk for Coronary Heart DiseaseCondition: Coronary Heart Disease
Collagenase in the Treatment of Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)Conditions: Adhesive Capsulitis; Frozen Shoulder
Study of the Composition of Dental PlaqueConditions: Dental Caries; Dental Plaque; Periodontal Disease
Genetic Factors in Age-Related Macular DegenerationCondition: Macular Degeneration
Efalizumab to Treat UveitisConditions: Uveitis; Intraocular Inflammatory Diseases
Raptiva to Treat Sjogren's SyndromeCondition: Sjogren's Syndrome
Value of CT-Scan and Oral Gastrografin in the Management of Post Operative Small Bowel ObstructionCondition: Small Bowel Obstruction
Not yet recruiting
To Study the Safety and Effectiveness of a Granisetron Patch to Treat Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)Condition: Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting
A Study Evaluating the Safety, Effectiveness, and Pharmacokinetics of Transdermal Oxybutynin in Treating Overactive Bladder Associated With a Neurological ConditionCondition: Detrusor Hyperreflexia
LVHR Multicenter StudyCondition: Ventral and Ventral Insicional Hernia
Donor Stem Cell Transplantation for Congenital ImmunodeficienciesConditions: MUD Transplant; AlloPBSC; Congenital Immunodeficiencies; HLA Matched Transplant; BMT
Comparison of Two Different Diets on Health OutcomesCondition: Metabolic Syndrome X
Effectiveness of Aripiprazole for Improving Side Effects of Clozapine in the Treatment of People With SchizophreniaConditions: Schizophrenia; Insulin Resistance
Not yet recruiting
Impact of Pitavastatin in Hypercholesterolemic Patients With Metabolic SyndromeConditions: Metabolic Syndrome; Oxidative Stress; Inflammation
Efficacy and Safety Study of Miconazole Lauriad to Treat Oropharyngeal Candidiasis in HIV PatientsCondition: HIV Infections
Dairy Products and Metabolic Effects (Norwegian Part)Conditions: Metabolic Syndrome X; Heart Disease
A Safety Study of Two Intratumour Doses of Coxsackievirus Type A21 in Melanoma Patients.Condition: Stage IV Melanoma
Study of the Inflammatory Activity in Diabetic Patients With Stable Angina Treated With Simvastatin and EzetimibeConditions: Diabetes; Stable Angina
ETERNAL: European Trial About Effect of RimoNabant on Abdominal Obese Patients With dysLipidemiaConditions: Obesity; Dyslipidemias
A Pilot Study of the Mechanism of Synergism Between FP and Salmeterol in Preventing COPD ExacerbationsCondition: Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
BB-10901 in Treating Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Solid TumorsConditions: Cervical Cancer; Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor; Lung Cancer; Sarcoma; Unspecified Adult Solid Tumor, Protocol Specific
Not yet recruiting
Rosiglitazone and Metformin: Outcomes Trial in Nondiabetic Patients With Stable Coronary Syndromes (Romance) Pilot StudyCondition: Coronary Artery Disease
Study on the Efficacy and Mechanism of Cardiac Rehabilitation for Stem Cell Mobilization and Heart Failure ImprovementCondition: Myocardial Infarction
Detection and Characterization of Host Defense DefectsConditions: Immunologic Deficiency Syndrome; Infection;jsessionid=2C9BE6F74A11DAB1A70BAF59CCA41ABF?term=adhesions&submit=Search

I don't want my baby to die

Mom pleads for help...
Ariti Jankie South Bureau
Friday, June 22nd 2007
BABY Joshua Williams weighed 11.5 pounds at birth on May 4, but now he weighs 6.01 pounds and is in critical condition fighting for his life at hospital.
Williams was born with a congenital deformity of the intestine, doctors at the an Fernando General Hospital said.
As a result, tubes are attached to his tiny frame for feeding and he has been burned in the process.
His 25-year-old mother of Guayaguayare has been begging for medicine and medical supplies to keep her baby alive. "I don't want my baby to die," Maria Marcano cried.
She said up until April 18, she took an ultrasound at the hospital and was reassured that her baby was small but fine.
Marcano added that on April 26, a second ultrasound was taken which showed that something was wrong with the baby's bowel. She said she was admitted to the ward on May 2 and labour was induced on May 4. She said: "I could not have the baby naturally and he had to be pulled out of me."
She believes the difficult delivery could have affected the baby.
She claimed that at birth the baby was not breathing and he was rushed into the nursery. "The next time I saw my son, he was in an incubator with tubes all over him," she said. It was then, she was told that the baby's intestines were not formed properly.
The baby had his first surgery the day after he was born. Two weeks later his stomach began to swell. He could not eat or drink.
Hospital Acting hospital Medical Director Dr Anand Chatoorgoon said the baby's foot was burned by the formula with which he was fed. He said the critical issue was not the tissue burns since that was being looked after by a plastic surgeon, but the problem was with the intestines.
Describing the child as "very sick," Chatoorgoon said the baby could not be fed through the mouth or stomach, so doctors had to feed him through the veins or he would die. "Sometimes in an intravenous feeding, as it was in this case, the feeding solution leaks out from the veins into the surrounding tissues. That is how this baby suffered the tissue burns," said Chatoorgoon.
He stressed that the burns could not be helped, because that is the only way that the baby can be fed.
In an interview with TV6 News last night, Marcano said she was told by a nurse her baby suffered tissue burns because the feeding solution leaked out.
Meanwhile, the mother said she was depending on charity to travel daily from Guayaguayare and to buy medicine for the baby.
Marcano who is diabetic and suffers with rheumatic fever, also has a two year daughter Akela .
The single parent is begging Health Minister John Rahael to intervene and make treatment available "to keep my baby alive."
Meanwhile, Dr Kerryn Brahim, consultant paediatrician at the neo-natal unit, confirmed that the baby suffered a congenital deformity of the intestine. He said that the baby started vomiting after birth and was operated upon to take out the affected segment of the bowel.
"The surgery went well," until the baby started vomiting again. He had developed adhesions (abnormal union of bodily tissues) which sent the surgeons back to operate again. A colostomy (a surgical operation that creates an opening from the colon to the surface of the body to function as an anus) was done to reduce obstruction, with the bowel opening out to the skin.
Brahim said that the baby continued to have problems with absorbing nutrition and has been feeding on intravenous fluids. The baby was starved for about 10 days to give the bowel a chance to heal.
Doctors described the baby's condition as critical.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sicko available for free

Michael Moore's latest has been leaked on the web. (via a reader tip)

Michael Moore is happy about the piracy of his movie and approves the downloads, leading some to believe he did it on purpose

Watch now on goggle video here is the link.
Click here
Approx. 2 hr 3 min.
As a chronically ill person I was shocked , I cried, was outraged, but in the end I was left with a sense of hope.

If you are uninsured, underinsured or fully insured, if you can't afford the meds or treatments suggested by your doctor, it is a must see film! You can't afford not to. Your insurance comapany would rather you did'nt!

Raves a Cannes!
Perhaps a movie that can change our world?
Watch it now, as I am surprised it is still online.

Wishing you good health.

If only ths film had been mainstreamed in time perhaps Edith Isabel Rodriguez would be alive today.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Edith Isabel Rodriguez 43 R.I.P.

I currently work as an “International Patient Advocate" for person afflicted with "Adhesion Related Disorder (ARD)" and though this disorder has not been confirmed as a condition that Edith Isabel Rodriguez had, in my opinion it very well could be. It is my intentions to secure Mrs. Rodriguez's autopsy report which will offer to me a more comprehensive look into her prior medical/surgical history, which, if there is anything of a surgical nature existing in that history, will give credence to the probability that "post surgical peritoneal adhesions" were in fact a cause of her pain and multiple ER visits for pain. I can say with certainty that being on analgesics it is no wonder Edith had a bowel obstruction from constipation, which is a side affect of such a medication, and for a person who has a bowel compromised from adhesions, obstruction is a medical emergency which can trigger the results typical of what Edith Isabel Rodriguez experienced -death surrounded by ignorance and hostility within the medical arena. Tammy Wynette died under similar circumstances, and her death was directly related to ARD. Others have as well, unfortunately. I invite, and encourage you to please visit this web site: for more information on ARD. I am hoping that anyone reading my post will take this unfortunate situation and loss of a young mother a step further by acclimating yourselves to a most hideous medical condition that rivals appendectomies, heart bypass surgery and hip replacements in our country, and throughout the world.A search of the medical blogsphere shows so little compassion for this woman's death.They use the phrase "frequent flyer" to their ER's . This phrase has been heard by so many desperately ill people afflicted by adhesions.Their arguments are beyond callous and often turn to discussions of the evils of socialized medicine much these docs get paid! Their dependency on CT scans ( if it ain't there it don't exist!)
Read the responses to our message on medblogs!Start with KevinMD.
If indeed Adhesions are the culprit in Edith's death, and we intend to find out, perhaps Edith's family can find some bit of peace knowing what happened to their loved one and how often ARD patients are treated in such manners.
Her tragic death will not be in vain.
Edith Isabel Rodriguez
Woman at King-Harbor died of perforated bowelBy Charles Ornstein, Times Staff WriterJune 2, 2007A 43-year-old woman who writhed in pain for 45 minutes on the emergency room lobby floor of Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital died of a perforated bowel, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said late Friday. Neither hospital staff nor other patients attempted to assist her as she lay dying.The coroner's office labeled the death of Edith Isabel Rodriguez on May 9 as an accident and said it had turned over its findings to the district attorney, the Sheriff's Department and the county Department of Health Services, which are investigating the death. Other factors contributing to Rodriguez's death were a bowel obstruction and the effects of prescription drugs and methamphetamine use.Her bowel broke open less than 24 hours before her death, and experts have said she could have been treated if it had been caught early enough.The coroner's office said its complete autopsy report would not be released until Monday. A news release announcing the findings was distributed after 6 p.m. Friday. Rodriguez's death, which has prompted federal and state probes, triggered immediate outrage after it was reported in The Times last month. A videotape of the events shows the indifference of other patients and hospital staff, according to several people who saw it. At one point, a janitor cleaned around Rodriguez as she lay on the floor. King-Harbor, formerly King/Drew, has been trying to rebound from a string of egregious incidents that have contributed to patient deaths beginning more than 3 1/2 years ago. The county has slashed services, spent millions of dollars on consultants and disciplined hundreds of staffers. Even so, the hospital's future is not assured. King-Harbor is preparing for a crucial inspection next month that will determine whether it receives federal funding. If it fails, the hospital could close.Dr. Bruce Chernof, director of the county Department of Health Services, said in a written statement that Rodriguez was not provided with compassionate service and that her death was "inexcusable.""It is important to understand that this was fundamentally a failure of caring," he said.A triage nurse in the emergency room, who turned away pleas from county police and Rodriguez's boyfriend to help her, has resigned. The emergency room supervisor was reassigned and other unspecified personnel actions have been taken, Chernof,1,2460605.story?coll=la-headlines-california&ctrack=1&cset=true"> style="font-size:78%;">,1,2460605.story?coll=la-headlines-california&ctrack=1&cset=true
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'>,0,6057993.story?coll=la-home-center">Tale of last 90 minutes of woman’s lifeCounty officials express dismay at the events surrounding the recent controversial death at King-Harbor hospital. One nurse has resigned.By Charles OrnsteinTimes Staff WriterMay 20, 2007In the emergency room at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, Edith Isabel Rodriguez was seen as a complainer.“Thanks a lot, officers,” an emergency room nurse told Los Angeles County police who brought in Rodriguez early May 9 after finding her in front of the Willowbrook hospital yelling for help. “This is her third time here.”The 43-year-old mother of three had been released from the emergency room hours earlier, her third visit in three days for abdominal pain. She’d been given prescription medication and a doctor’s appointment.Turning to Rodriguez, the nurse said, “You have already been seen, and there is nothing we can do,” according to a report by the county office of public safety, which provides security at the hospital.Parked in the emergency room lobby in a wheelchair after police left, she fell to the floor. She lay on the linoleum, writhing in pain, for 45 minutes, as staffers worked at their desks and numerous patients looked on.Aside from one patient who briefly checked on her condition, no one helped her. A janitor cleaned the floor around her as if she were a piece of furniture. A closed-circuit camera captured everyone’s apparent indifference. . . .David Janssen, the county’s chief administrative officer, said the incident is being taken very seriously. In a rare move, his office took over control of the inquiry from the county health department and the office of public safety.“There’s no excuse — and I don’t think anybody believes that there is,” Janssen said.Over the last 3 1/2 years, King-Harbor has reeled from crisis to crisis.Based on serious patient-care lapses, it has lost its national accreditation and federal funding. Hundreds of staff members have been disciplined and services cut.Janssen said he was concerned that the incident would divert attention from preparing the hospital for a crucial review in six weeks that is to determine whether it can regain federal funding.If the hospital fails, it could be forced to close.“It certainly isn’t going to help,” Janssen said.[that’s not at the top of my list of things that don’t help — rk]charles.ornstein@latimes.comTimes staff writers Stuart Pfeifer and Susannah Rosenblatt contributed to this report.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tapes show operators ignored pleas to send ambulance to L.A. hospitalUpdated: 10:43 a.m. ET June 13, 2007
LOS ANGELES - A woman who lay bleeding on the emergency room floor of a troubled inner-city hospital died after 911 dispatchers refused to contact paramedics or an ambulance to take her to another facility, newly released tapes of the emergency calls reveal.Edith Isabel Rodriguez, 43, died of a perforated bowel on May 9 at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital. Her death was ruled accidental by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.Relatives said Rodriguez was bleeding from the mouth and writhing in pain for 45 minutes while she was at a hospital waiting area. Experts have said she could have survived had she been treated early enough.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Woman’s Death increases Pressure on LA Hospital to close downA Los Angeles county hospital is under immense pressure trying to survive amid reports of negligence in patient care. The plea for help from a woman dying in the emergency room of the Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital seemed to have been ignored by the in house staff. Like wise two emergency calls to the 911 too was rejected by the dispatchers, ultimately leading to the death of the woman. Newly released tapes of 911 calls reveal that a woman who lay bleeding on the floor of the emergency room died last month after dispatchers refused to contact paramedics or an ambulance to take her to another facility.Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, once a symbol of hope in the inner city, struggled Wednesday to survive amid new reports of breakdowns in patient care, the replacement of its chief medical officer and an ultimatum to correct long-running problems or close. Edith Isabel Rodriguez, 43, had been taken to Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital for treatment of what the county coroner later determined was a perforated bowel on May 9th. She waited 45 minutes, without treatment, before she died. The County coroner believes that she would have survived if had received timely help.The whole incident was caught on camera, the video from an ER camera showed staff members and patients standing by as a janitor cleaned the floor around Rodriguez, who was buried Tuesday in Tehachapi, Calif.The woman's treatment was 'callous, it was a horrible thing,' Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke said Wednesday .Earlier this week, the county Board of Supervisors grilled health officials about conditions at the public hospital and ordered them to return in two weeks with a plan to deal with a hospital shutdown if it is unable to correct deficiencies laid out in a federal inspection that concluded emergency room patients were in 'immediate jeopardy.' After the inspection last week, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the hospital 23 days to correct problems or face a loss of federal funding that provides much of its budget. That could force it to close. It was the fourth time in less than four years that the hospital had received the warning.The federal review was based, in part, on a report that a man with a brain tumor waited four days in the emergency room when he needed to be transferred to another facility for lifesaving brain surgery.Dr. Roger Peeks, the hospital's chief medical officer, was placed on 'ordered absence' Monday and replaced on an interim basis by Dr. Robert Splawn, senior medical officer for the county health department. Department spokesman Michael Wilson confirmed the change but declined to elaborate Wednesday, saying it was a personnel matter.L.A. County supervisor Zev Yarovslosky called the hospital's actions a moral and human breakdown.Burke said the county-run hospital, which handles 49,000 emergency patients a year, is a crucial facility and efforts should be made to keep it open because nearby hospitals could not handle the load. Health officials are 'doing everything in our power to help MLK-Harbor meet national standards,' Dr. Bruce Chernof, director and chief medical officer of health department, said in a statement.Sheriff's department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department was reviewing the handling of the 911 calls by two of its dispatchers.Source-Medindia~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Why did you choose to work in the ED?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mourners including family and friends of Edith Rodriguez pay their respects at the Tehachapi Public Cemetery. Rodriguez died at King-Harbor May 9 after writhing on the floor for 45 minutes.(Mark Boster / LAT)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

SICKO Michael Moore's New Movie on U.S. Healthcare System

A MUST see!
June 4th, 2007 12:46 am
Sicko? The truth about the US healthcare system
Michael Moore's new film is a damning indictment of the way the world's richest country looks after those who fall ill. Andrew Gumbel finds out whether his accusations are justified
The Independent
Cynthia Kline knew exactly what was happening to her when she suffered a heart attack at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She took the time to call an ambulance, popped some nitroglycerin tablets she had been prescribed in anticipation of just such an emergency, and waited for help to arrive.
On paper, everything should have gone fine. Unlike tens of millions of Americans, she had health insurance coverage. The ambulance team arrived promptly. The hospital where she had been receiving treatment for her cardiac problems, a private teaching facility affiliated with the Harvard Medical School, was just a few minutes away.
The problem was, the casualty department at the hospital, Mount Auburn, was full to overflowing. And it turned her away. The ambulance took her to another nearby hospital but the treatment she needed, an emergency catheterisation, was not available there. A flurry of phone calls to other medical facilities in the Boston area came up empty. With a few hours, Cynthia Kline was dead.
She died in an American city with one of the highest concentration of top-flight medical specialists in the world. And it happened largely because of America's broken health care system - one where 50 million people are entirely without insurance coverage and tens of millions more struggle to have the treatment they need approved. As a result, medical problems go unattended until they reach crisis point. Patients then rush to hospital casualty departments, where by law they cannot be turned away, overwhelming the system entirely. Everyone - doctors and patients, politicians on both the left and the right - agrees this is an insane way to run a health system.
When Elizabeth Hilsabeck gave birth to premature twins in Austin, Texas, she encountered another kind of insanity. Again, she was insured -- through her husband, who had a good job in banking. But the twins were born when she was barely six months pregnant, and the boy, Parker, developed cerebral palsy. The doctors recommended physical therapy to build up muscle strength and give the boy a fighting chance of learning to walk, but her managed health provider refused to cover it.
The crazy bureaucratic logic was that the policy covered only "rehabilitative" therapy - in other words, teaching a patient a physical skill that has been lost. Since Parker had never walked, the therapy was in essence teaching him a new skill and therefore did not qualify. The Hilsabecks railed, protested, won some small reprieves, but ended up selling their home and moving into a trailer to cover their costs. Elizabeth's husband, Steven, considered taking a new, better-paying job, but chose not to after making careful inquiries about the health insurance coverage. "When is he getting over the cerebral palsy?" a prospective new insurance company representative breezily asked the Hilsabecks. When Elizabeth explained he would never get over it, she was told she was on her own.
Everyone in America has a health-care horror story or knows someone who does. Mostly they are stories of grinding bureaucratic frustration, of phone calls and officials letters and problems with their credit rating, or of people ignoring a slowly deteriorating medical condition because they are afraid that an expensive battery of tests will lead to a course of treatment that could quickly become unaffordable.
Even when things don't go horribly wrong, it is a matter of surviving by the skin of one's teeth.
In Montana, Melissa Anderson can't find affordable insurance because she is self-employed - an increasingly common affliction. When her son Kasey came down with epilepsy two years ago, she was saved only by a recently introduced child health insurance programme specifically tailored to people who aren't poor but can't afford to pay monster medical bills. She herself remains uninsured for anything short of major care needs.
Over the past 15 years, the stories have become less about poor people without the economic means to access the system - although that remains a vast, unsolved problem - and more about the kind of people who have every expectation they will be taken care of. Middle-class people, people with jobs that carry health benefits or - as the problem worsens - people with the sorts of jobs that used to carry robust health benefits which are now more rudimentary and risk their being cut off for a variety of reasons.
This is the morass that Michael Moore has chosen to explore in his latest documentary, Sicko, which goes on release later this month. Moore spends much of the film demonstrating that there is nothing inevitable or necessary about a system that enriches insurance companies and drug manufacturers but shortchanges absolutely everyone else. His searching documentary looks at health care in France, Britain, Canada, and even Cuba - still regarded as a model system for the Third World.
Moore has his share of ghoulishly awful stories. The film kicks off with an uninsured carpenter who has to decide whether to spend $12,000 (£6,000) reattaching his severed ring finger or $60,000 to reattach his severed middle finger. Later on, Moore focuses on a hospital worker whose husband needed a bone marrow transplant to save him from a rare disease. The couple's insurance company refused to cover the transplant because it regarded the treatment as "experimental". The husband died.
Many more stories are collected in a newly published book called Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis, by Jonathan Cohn. A woman in California called Nelene Fox died of breast cancer after she, too, was turned down for a bone marrow transplant by her insurance company. In Georgia, a family whose infant son went into cardiac arrest were forced to take him to a hospital 45 miles away on their insurance carrier's orders. He survived, but suffered permanent disabilities that more prompt treatment might have averted. In New York, an infant called Bryan Jones - whose case was trumpeted all over the local media at the time - died of a heart defect that went undetected because his insurance company kicked him and his mother out of hospital 24 hours after his birth, too soon to carry out the tests that might have spotted the problem.
America's health system offers a tremendous paradox. In medical technology and in the scientific understanding of disease, it is second-to-none. Since doctors are better paid than anywhere else in the world, the country attracts the best of the best. And yet many, if not most, Americans are unable to reap the advantages of this. In fact, as The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has argued, the very proliferation of research and high-tech equipment is part of the reason for the imbalance in coverage between the privileged few and the increasingly underserved masses. "[The system] compensates for higher spending on insiders, in party, by consigning more people to outsider status --robbing Peter of basic care in order to pay for Paul's state-of-the-art treatment," Krugman wrote recently. "Thus we have the cruel paradox that medical progress is bad for many Americans' health."
Having the system run by for-profit insurance companies turns out to be inefficient and expensive as well as dehumanising. America spends more than twice as much per capita on health care as France, and almost two and a half times as much as Britain. And yet it falls down in almost every key indicator of public health, starting, perhaps, most shockingly, with infant mortality, which is 36 per cent higher than in Britain.
A recent survey by the management consulting company McKinsey estimated the excess bureaucratic costs of managing private insurance policies - scouting for business, processing claims, and hiring "denial management specialists" to tell people why their ailment is not covered by their policy - at about $98bn a year. That, on its own, is significantly more than the $77bn McKinsey calculates it would cost to cover every uninsured American. If the government negotiated bulk purchasing rates for drugs, rather than allowing the pharmaceutical companies to set their own extortionate rates, that would save another $66bn.
Astonishingly, there hasn't been a serious debate about health care in the United States since Bill Clinton, with considerable input from his wife Hillary, tried and failed to overhaul the system in 1994. That, though, may be about to change as the 2008 presidential race heats up. Everyone acknowledges the system is broken. Everyone recognises that 50 million uninsured - including almost 10 million children - is unacceptable in a civilised society.
Even the old, classically American free-market argument - that "socialised" medicine is somehow the first step on a slippery slope towards godless communism - doesn't hold water, because in the absence of a functioning private insurance regime the government ends up picking up about 50 per cent of the overall costs for treatment anyway. The indigent rely on a government programme called Medicaid. The elderly have a government programme called Medicare. And perhaps the most efficient part of the whole system is the Veterans' Administration, a sort of NHS for former servicemen.
Rather like London and Paris in the 19th century, where the authorities belatedly paid attention to outbreaks of cholera once the disease started affecting the rich and middle classes, so the American health crisis may be coming to a head because of the kinds of people who are suffering from its injustices.
Corporate chief executives, for a start, are gagging under the ever-increasing costs of providing coverage to their employees. Starbucks now spends more on health care than it does on coffee beans. Company health costs, as a whole, are at about the same level as corporate profits. In a globalised world where US businesses are competing with low-wage countries such as India and China, that is rapidly becoming unacceptable.
That explains, perhaps, why the chief executive of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, has made common cause with America's leading service sector union - more commonly a bitter critic of Wal-Mart's labour practices - in calling for a government-run universal health care system by 2012. It's going to be a tough battle. The insurance and pharmaceutical industries bankroll the campaigns of dozens of congressmen and have so far been brutally efficient in protecting their own interests. The Clintons were defeated in 1994 in part because of the power of the industry lobbies. Doing better this time will take singular political courage.
In the meantime, we will hear ever more crazy stories like the one told by Marijon Binder, a former nun in Chicago who ended up being sued by a Catholic hospital for $11,000 because her two-night stay for a heart scare was not considered a worthy charity case. Binder, who works as a live-in companion to a disabled old woman, wrote on all her admission forms that she had no insurance and, in her telling at least, was reassured the hospital would take care of her anyway.
After a year and a monstrous bureaucratic fight that went nowhere, a civil judge promptly absolved her of responsibility for her bill - a lucky outcome, for sure. Binder said: "The whole experience was very demeaning. It made me feel very guilty; it made me feel like a criminal." She is, though, alive and solvent. Not everyone in this system catches the same break.
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