Thursday, March 13, 2014

Nurse Jackie

Thought that was a TV show? Well yes, that too.

I read this op-ed today and thought with the supposed War on Drugs maybe they need to start no knock warranting and raiding local hospitals and look for their own drug dealers and users, the ones in scrubs.

One more reason to say fuck you to the Medical profession who loves to throw labels and names under the aegis  of "diagnosis." And then get their meth labs otherwise known as Big Pharma to stop pushing their crap to make those shareholders happy. Wouldn't just a nice song or dance be enough.  We could have the Poors do the Shirley Temple meets Bojangles redux to make the nice white men feel good about exploiting people.

Meanwhile back at the Manse, the stoned health care providers are doling out the for you and one for me. Nothing says care and health more than jacked up Doctors, Nurses, et. al. Takes one to know one I guess.

Why Aren’t Doctors Drug Tested?

MARCH 12, 2014

l. We all know that medical care involves risks, but what patients don’t expect is that the doctors, nurses and other staff members charged with their care may deliberately cause them harm. As an important recent case demonstrates, that’s exactly what can happen without stronger controls.

David Kwiatkowski was a medical technician and a prescription-drug addict who worked in more than a dozen hospitals in eight states. He stole the painkiller fentanyl that staff members had prepared for patients awaiting cardiac catheterizations. Mr. Kwiatkowski would take the prefilled fentanyl syringe, inject the drug into his own arm, refill the used syringe with saline, and replace it. Saline was not all he added to those contaminated syringes: Mr. Kwiatkowski has hepatitis C, a potentially fatal virus.

Over the course of a decade, he left a trail of 45 unexplained hepatitis C cases, including two deaths, before finally being arrested in New Hampshire. This past December, he was sentenced to 39 years in prison. Mr. Kwiatkowski’s surviving victims live with the consequences of his crime as well: David Porter (who happens to be a retiree from our Boston office) had to have a leg amputation. Alden Sanborn suffered liver failure.

As the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services and a special agent who investigated the Kwiatkowski case, we believe that this case, and others like it, show that our hospitals are not protecting patients from drug tampering.

Mr. Kwiatkowski concealed his job history. But regulations and procedures that differ from state to state, and even from institution to institution, enabled him to continue destroying lives. We know of only two instances when calls were made to law enforcement officials on suspicions that Mr. Kwiatkowski was stealing drugs. Both times, he left the state before any action was taken. Most hospitals didn’t call the police. They also didn’t communicate his job history to agencies and institutions to prevent his being hired again.

This case is not unique. In Denver, a former surgical technician, Kristen Diane Parker, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2010 after doing the same thing as Mr. Kwiatkowski: injecting herself with fentanyl and refilling the used syringes with saline or water. She infected over a dozen patients with hepatitis C. In Florida, Steven Beumel was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2012 for similar actions that infected at least five people with hepatitis C. One victim underwent a liver transplant and later died.

Hospitals can do more to protect patients. Improved security, such as surveillance of drug storage areas, tighter chain of custody on drugs, and better tracking of controlled substances are obvious areas to target.

But we should go further. We believe hospitals should be required to perform random drug tests on all health care workers with access to drugs. The tests should be comprehensive enough to screen for fentanyl and other commonly abused drugs and must keep up with evolving drug abuse patterns.

Another step is to require medical centers to call law enforcement agencies if they suspect a health care worker of stealing drugs. “These are federal crimes,” said John P. Kacavas, the United States attorney who prosecuted Mr. Kwiatkowski in New Hampshire. “Medical providers are ill equipped to investigate these cases.”

We should also treat addiction as the chronic disease that it is, and get addicted health care workers help. This could prevent some from breaking the law to feed their addiction. One effective model is known as physician health programs. These work for and with state agencies to recommend treatment and monitor recovery while helping physicians avoid professional and criminal penalties. One 2008 study of 802 doctors with a history of substance abuse who were monitored for five years showed that 65 percent remained free of drug or alcohol use.

But addicted health care workers need not be physicians to put patients at risk. All health care workers with access to drugs, including medical doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, radiological technicians and surgical assistants, should be subject to mandatory drug testing.

Lucy Starry, one of Mr. Kwiatkowski’s victims, suffered afterward from severe edema. She died earlier this month, and her death certificate lists hepatitis C as a contributing factor. Kathleen Murray, her daughter, has been a nurse herself for more than 30 years. “To me, the real crime is that for years he was never prosecuted,” she said. “It tarnishes my profession. He never should have gotten as far as he did.” Better prescription-drug protocols in hospitals could ensure that such a case doesn’t happen again.

1 comment:

  1. Hi-the article here is part of a propaganda campaign put out the corporate and political front-groups ASAM and FSPHP. It is to create a moral crusade against a non -existent threat.

    Take a look at some of my tweets WarrenMullaneyMD and I just started a new blog on Wordpress DisruptedPhysician. Take a look at some of this and perhaps we could collaborate on getting this exposed.

    Most people have never heard of the FSPHP. That is by design. The FSPHP is an arm of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

    ASAM is a corporate front-group representing drug testing labs, 12-step rehabilitation centers, and other interests. It is also a political front group representing prohibitionists and the dichotomous chronic lifelong brain disease spiritual recovery model of addiction. ASAM is the propaganda, misinformation, and lobbying arm (influenced DSM-V, redefining diagnostic criteria, etc.) FSPHP is the silent muscle.

    Quietly, insidiously, and largely hidden from view, these organizations have caused a sweeping transformation in healthcare that poses grave problems for all of us as they have convinced regulatory agencies and administrative medicine that they are valid and altruistic organizations that exist to protect the best interests of the public. They do not.

    A confluence of currents have created ideal conditions for protection, power, and secrecy. They use dismissal and distortion of data and have complete disregard for evidence based medicine and science in favor of positions dictated by prohibition, religion, and spiritual "recovery." As onerous and unwarranted these impositions are for doctors they have made little impression on the outside world

    All one has to do is look at the players involved and connect the dots. The FSPHP is the brainchild of Robert Dupont. He and other cronies such as Doug Talbott created a phony specialty complete with diploma mill "board certification" in the late 80's then spread out and volunteered at State Physician Health Programs. By kicking out their predecessors who did not conform to the groupthink, double-think and ends justifies the means ethical and criminal violations they have effectively infested the state PHPs with the primary aim to increase prohibition and impose an evangelistic lifelong abstinence chronic brain disease spiritual recovery model of addiction medicine on healthcare. The infestation of state physician health programs and lobbying efforts were designed to influence State Medical Societies, Departments. of Health, law enforcement and regulatory boards. They have gained tremendous sway and more than accomplished this goal But it is an incestuous lair. There are not that many of them. The power structure consists of profiteers and geriatric fossils who exert leverage through both willing gulls "in recovery" as well as thugs and ex-felons.

    It is a rigged game. Professional ethics and professional standards do not apply. Dichotomous black and white thinking to further the cause.

    The same prohibitionists involved in ASAM mariuana policy are involved in the FSPHP. An ultra-conservative group o ASAM physicians called "Like-Minded Docs" are involved in the scam at the State level. The list is worth looking at. The public list is attached below. The non-public list contains many other names familiar for being on the wrong side o the drug war.