Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Friday, 22 February 2008

I got a call from my mom and sister today.  My sister got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and she tripped over an ice auger that her husband had left in the kitchen (don't ask).


Anyway, she fell and broke her arm.


Her husband took her to the local ER, and they had to call a doctor in to look at her arm.  He was cranky, and brusk, manipulating her arm around and crabbing at her when she reacted in pain.  She asked him for pain medication, but he continued manipulating her arm, and told her that if she didn't "shape up" he was going to go home without doing anything for her.


Finally, after getting tired of hearing her express her pain, he gave her a shot, and did an x-ray.  She has a horizontal fracture near the middle of the humerous, and a vertical fracture nearer the shoulder.


Later, she found out that the doctor had written in her records that she was "under the influence" and uncooperative (both untrue).


He made a crude sling out of gauze, and sent her home with no pain medication.


For two days, she and her husband tried to call to be seen for the break, and let them know that my sister was in a lot of pain.  They were put off repeatedly.


Finally, they drove 2.5 hours to Bemidji, and were seen in the ER.  A proper sling was put on, and pain medication issued.


Later, the local hospital called to do a follow-up on my sister, and asked if she still had pain or any concerns about her condition.  She replied that she had gone to Bemidji to have the break looked at.  The person on the other end responded "Oh!  Your arm is broken?"


Apparently, the doctor had merely noted that she came in "under the influence", was uncooperative, and complaining of shoulder pain.  Not mentioning the break at all.


This was the same crack medical team that failed to diagnose a cancerous tumor in my grandfather's colon...and instead concluded that he had a heart condition.  (a different hospital actually did a hemoglobin test, which I would think would be a standard procedure in someone suffering from weakness and dizziness...and discovered that he had a hemoglobin count of 3).


My in-laws drive down to the cities to get care for my MIL now, because someone in the hospital near THEM let my MIL go through a whole course of chemo therepy without adding one of the perscribed active ingredients.


I'm collecting a string of anecdotes that adds up to "God save me from having to get medical treatment in a rural hospital".


Some places in America have the best health care in the world.  Others have something that is marginally better than the 3rd world.


But don't let those "liberals" tell you there are "two Americas".




Oh, the punchine?  My sister makes her living as a violin teacher.  Let's just say, that it would probably be better for her family and for the taxpayers if her arm got proper treatment so it could heal properly, so that she could continue to earn a living.

Friday, 22 February 2008 13:06:07 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [6] |  | #
Friday, 22 February 2008 15:43:29 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Sorry to hear that your sister had to go through such a nightmare. But it isn't just rural hospitals where can can be "below average". Take Avindair, it took him years, many different doctors and many different clinics before they discovered the true cause of his pains. My grandmother had an entire breast removed only to find out later that her medical records didn't state that cancer was actually found.

Sounds like the first doctor should have a copy of the Hippocratic Oath shoved up his cranky ass.

Without pain killers.

Hope she's on the road to recovery.
Friday, 22 February 2008 22:01:45 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Obviously the doctor mis-read the form. He didn't realize that it was asking about the patient's condition. He thought he was describing himself: under the influence and uncooperative.

The man should be fired. Period. That's unacceptable. That's not an honest mistake. That's not a lack of training. That is a willful decision to not do one's job. I'd sue him. I'm not usually one to talk about suing, but this is a case where I would not only sue him myself, but try to find any other patients that were screwed by him and get them on board as well. This should be something that even malpractice insurance can't get him out of. He should have his license pulled. Care to make his name public?
Friday, 22 February 2008 22:50:01 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

I don't know the doctor's name.
Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:52:09 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I'm glad I'm not the only person thinking words like "Sue" and "stoneage". As to the docs name I've got a couple for him but I'm pretty sure your boys read this so I won't go there. Wow. Just effing wow. Makes you wonder if his medical degree came with small fries and a drink.

Bob Wagner
Saturday, 23 February 2008 09:03:23 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I guess my point is that there is a systemic problem of access to quality medical care for large segments of our society. Sueing one jack-ass is not going to solve fact, it would probably make the situation worse, as other doctors are unlikely to come into an area with little to offer them if the last doctor was driven out by lawsuits.
Saturday, 23 February 2008 09:11:35 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Trees, I agree, but the only way to improve poor quality care is to identify it (which your sister most definitely has) and do *something* to change it. If that means bringing seriously poor care to the attention of authorities, then that is how it has to be done. I doubt that pulling this doctor aside for a heart-to-heart is going to change things. In the mean time, he will go on providing sub-par care to men, women and children of her community, which could result in needless suffering and even death. Sueing him may not be the ultimate answer, but an investigation, questioning, perhaps a reprimand of some order, would be a step in the right direction, showing that the people of that community demand proper care.
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