The other day a man said to me "you don't care until it happens to you." And at that point I said, "sir you have no idea to whom you are speaking, know anything about me, or what my life story is so please don't tell me that, as you have no right to say that as you have no idea what has happened to me."
We rarely know peoples history or story unless they choose to share it and what is tragic is that empathy and sympathy are often impossible until it "happens to you."
As one who has always been overly kind and compassionate it was until shit happened to me, I never thought to question it or ever be unkind, and then it "happened to me." Funny now I have my professional face and my private personal face. I work hard on being considerate and compassionate in public and then when I am safe behind closed doors I allow my derision to take over. And so when it "happens to you" I get it I really do.
I have learned that when shit happens, no one cares so why should I. I learned that.
On Feb 8, 2012 I was nearly killed by my date and the police did nothing, they chose to prosecute me. Right now my appeal is pending and the City Attorney's office is so "over my case" they chose not to even respond to my appeal brief. That seems to be the consistent in this case. And my crackerjack crew of Attorneys, the same men who did nothing as I watched my civil rights go fly out the window in court, and they sat idly by. The one thing consistent is that they are doing the same right now.
What is funny I had that same non response with my appeal about my medical malpractice case that came from that same night. What my date did not finish the fucking scum at Harborview Medical Center nearly finished. They did nothing to help me either as I lay in a coma, emerged with Traumatic Brain Injury, they threw me in the street like an animal. And without a Lawyer I lost round one, and round two but hey I took my case to the State Supreme Court of Washington, and shocking I know, they did not rule in my favor as why would they? But it did not matter as I took it that far on my own without an Attorney, and got the exact same results. Who knew I am as good as my Attorney's and one went to Harvard.
I live in fear everyday and that is from those who are here to protect you be it Police and Doctors and the last four years have oddly proved me right.
Researchers: Medical errors now third leading cause of death in United States
Their analysis, published in the BMJ on Tuesday, shows that "medical errors" in hospitals and other health care facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third leading cause of death in the United States -- claiming 251,000 lives every year, more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer's.
Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who led the research, said in an interview that the category includes everything from bad doctors to more systemic issues such as communication breakdowns when patients are handed off from one department to another.
"It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeing care," Makary said.
The issue of patient safety has been a hot topic in recent years, but it wasn't always that way. In 1999, an Institute of Medicine report calling preventable medical errors an "epidemic" shocked the medical establishment and led to significant debate about what could be done.
The IOM, based on one study, estimated deaths because of medical errors as high as 98,000 a year. Makary's research involves a more comprehensive analysis of four large studies, including ones by the Health and Human Services Department's Office of the Inspector General and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that took place between 2000 to 2008. His calculation of 251,000 deaths equates to nearly 700 deaths a day -- about 9.5 percent of all deaths annually in the United States.
Makary said he and co-author Michael Daniel, also from Johns Hopkins, conducted the analysis to shed more light on a problem that many hospitals and health care facilities try to avoid talking about.
Though all providers extol patient safety and highlight the various safety committees and protocols they have in place, few provide the public with specifics on actual cases of harm due to mistakes. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't require reporting of errors in the data it collects about deaths through billing code making it hard to see what's going on at the national level.
The CDC should update its vital statistics reporting requirements so that physicians must report whether there was any error that led to a preventable death, Makary said.
"We all know how common it is," he said. "We also know how infrequently it’s openly discussed."
Kenneth Sands, who directs health care quality at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, said that the surprising thing about medical errors is the limited change that has taken place since the IOM report came out. Only hospital-acquired infections have shown improvement. "The overall numbers haven't changed, and that's discouraging and alarming," he said.
Sands, who was not involved in the BMJ study, said that one of the main barriers is the tremendous diversity and complexity in the way health care is delivered.
Makary also used an airplane analogy in describing how he thinks hospitals should approach errors, referencing what the Federal Aviation Administration does in its accident investigations.
"Measuring the problem is the absolute first step," he said. "Hospitals are currently investigating deaths where medical error could have been a cause, but they are under-resourced. What we need to do is study patterns nationally."
He said that in the aviation community every pilot in the world learns from investigations and that the results are disseminated widely.
"When a plane crashes, we don’t say this is confidential proprietary information the airline company owns. We consider this part of public safety. Hospitals should be held to the same standards," Makary said.
Frederick van Pelt, a doctor who works for The Chartis Group, a health care consultancy, said another element of harm that is often overlooked is the number of severe patient injuries resulting from medical error.
“Some estimates would put this number at 40 times the death rate," van Pelt said. "Again this gets buried in the daily exposure that care providers have around patients who are suffering or in pain that is to be expected following procedures."