Monday, June 28, 2010

Las Vegas Sun Investigates Medical Dangers

The Las Vegas Sun reported, "As part of a two-year investigation, Sun reporters Marshall Allen and Alex Richards have obtained a record of every Nevada hospital inpatient visit going back a decade -- 2.9 million in all." According to the Sun, "Revealed are the dangers patients have unknowingly encountered as they enter delivery rooms, surgical suites, and intensive care units, including thousands of cases of injury, death, and deadly infection associated with stays in Las Vegas hospitals." Meanwhile, "Helen Haskell, director of the national advocacy group the Empowered Patient Coalition, said the Sun's analysis will allow patients to make better-informed decisions about where to seek care, exerting financial pressure on low-performing health care providers to improve."

Allen and Richards reported that "over a two-year period -- 2008 and 2009 -- patients suffered preventable injuries, life-threatening infections, or other harm 969 times during their stays in Las Vegas hospitals." The investigation found that Las Vegas hospitals "have higher than expected rates of accidental punctures and lacerations, blood clots, and deadly blood infections. Hospital insiders tell the Sun that a dangerous culture of mediocrity has become the status quo."  Read more.

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