We’ve got a brand new book out: Uncle John’s Germophobia. It’s all about hospital horror stories, bad doctors, botched surgeries, nightmare nurses, weird diseases, and all the things that can and will go wrong when it comes to your health. Here’s a taste of the kind of thing you’ll find inside.
- A woman was admitted to Alvarado Hospital near San Diego for observation, after having suffered several falls, including one at a nursing home. She was listed in her chart as a “high-fall-risk” patient by doctors, meaning nurses were to be extra vigilant in making sure that she didn’t fall down or fall out of bed. Instead, a nurse turned off the patient’s “bed alarm,” which alerts the nursing station to a fall. The patient fell out of bed, hit her head, and died the next day. Cause of death: internal bleeding in the brain. Alvarado was fined $50,000 by the California Department of Public Health.
- One patient reporting abdominal pain went to a California hospital. Doctors took X-rays and other scans and suspected that the source of the pain could be a potentially cancerous mass spotted on the right kidney. The patient was referred to surgery at Sharp Memorial Hospital. The radiology images were sent over…but were reportedly not viewed by surgeons there. They operated and removed the patient’s left kidney, not the one with the cancer in it. The patient survived, but now having no functioning kidneys, will remain on dialysis for life.
- A patient checked into Antelope Valley Hospital outside of Los Angeles for a surgery to remove a bowel obstruction. The surgery was apparently successful, but in the weeks after the surgery, the patient returned to the emergency room twice, complaining of abdominal pain. Both times, doctors prescribed pain medication, believing the pain to simply be normal, if especially tough, post-surgical pain. The patient returned to the ER once more, and this time was given a CT scan. Results: a surgical retractor device had been left in the patient. In other words, she went in for an obstruction…and left with another one.