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Monday, April 10, 2006

Trust your Hospital?

To say I have trust issues when it comes to hospitals would be a grave understatement. In particular, the hospital in my parents home town, Bayone Medical Center is once again proving itself at the very least, untrustworthy and bordering on purely inept.

Someday, I may regale you with the horrors of my father's passing in 2004, and how their incompetence, at best made him uncomfortable and suffer or (in my non-legal opinion) directly caused his death (or at least sped it up). These however were complicated circumstances, and opinions can me made from lots of different view points. My father was not a well man, had heart problems, a blood infection. So, my anger towards them MAY be more emotional than anything else.

However, I once again have evidence of their incompetance, and this is NOT a matter of opinion, these are simple facts. My mother was brought to this hospital on Saturday with "tightness" in her neck and chest. (Something she has never experienced in her life. She is also not a well person as she functional malignant Islet Cell Carcinoma which is apparently quite rare). Initially, everything seemed as should be, they treated it like a heart attack, and then began doing tests. Here is where their incompetence starts to show. They did blood work and within several hours informed her that, "her enzyme levels indicate she did not have a heart attack." My mother, being fairly well versed with these tests because of my father asked, "Couldn't it take up to 24 hours after a heart episode for the enzyme levels to become elevated?" They basically put their tails between their legs, and after consulting with another doctor stated that yes it could and that they would be doing additional blood work to make sure.

Now she was also admitted with a fever. After finally being admitted (some 6 hours after arriving), she asked if wasn't she supposed to be given Tylenol or something for the fever. This again set of a series of conferences and an eventual call to the "house doctor" (why they didn't call HER doctor I do not know) and eventually given Tylenol.

I could go on giving more examples, including some from my own experiences when I used to live in Bayonne, and was brought to this house of euthanasia health care facility.

Now I do not wish to bash the many fine doctors and nurses in the world. But what is it that a building filled with (theoretically) intelligent, educated people seem to get dumb? Is it a case of being overworked? I don't doubt it to some extent, because hospitals seem to be the most fiscally irresponsible "businesses" in the world. How they can claim poverty with what hospital care costs is incomprehensible. I know nurses. They certainly aren't a strain on the hospital budget. Doctors visits are billed up and above your "room" costs, so that isn't it.

It is fortunate that my mother is both of sound mind, and able to speak intelligently on matters. Otherwise, I would fear for her. She knows enough to ask for a transfer should a critical proceedure be done, either to Beth Israel or Morristown Memorial Hospital, both of which appear to be at least resonably competent (plus I have relatives that work at Morristown Memorial to help keep an eye on things). I can only wonder what happens to the poor folks that actually put their trust in these people.

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