Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Murtha's Death Caused by Surgical Mistake

How common are medical mistakes? Many errors go unreported and tracking their exact prevalence is difficult. Nevertheless, the Institute of Medicine estimates 44,000 to 98,000 deaths annually from medical errors. The case of Representative John Murtha shows that, no matter how rich and powerful you are or how "good" your doctors, it can happen to you.Surgery and pharmaceuticals should be your last resort, not your first.
... Mr. Murtha was first hospitalized with gallbladder problems in December. He had surgery Jan. 28 at the National Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md. He went home, but was hospitalized two days later when complications developed. According to a source close to Mr. Murtha -- confirming a report in Politico -- doctors inadvertently cut Mr. Murtha's intestine during the laparoscopic surgery, causing an infection. Read more

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