What Your Local Hospital is Hoping You Won't Discover

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Mainstreet.com
offers a few essential facts about hospitals that you should know
before you check in:

Stay
Healthy in July

July is the
most dangerous month to visit a hospital. That’s the month when
students graduate from medical school and start doing residencies
at teaching hospitals. Deaths due to hospital medication errors
spike by 10 percent in July.

Hospital
Wait Times

Hospitals
have terrible wait times, which may actually be endangering patients.
Patients who need to be seen within 14 minutes of arriving ended
up having to wait more than twice as long.

The
Rise of Bedsores

In recent
years, the number of hospital patients suffering from bedsores
has increased significantly. In order to prevent them, ask your
doctor or whoever is accompanying you to make sure that you change
positions every couple hours, keep your skin clean and prop yourself
up with pillows to relieve the pressure.

Risk
of Infections

There are
1.7 million cases of hospital infections every year, and 99,000
deaths that are related to these infections.

Medical
Identity Theft

To date,
1.5 million Americans have had their personal information stolen
so that someone else can use your health care to cover their costs.
At the moment, hospitals are struggling to deal with this problem.

Bills
May Be Negotiable

Most Americans
have been the victim of hospital bill shock at one point or another,
but it’s important to remember that sometimes these bills are
negotiable. Some hospitals have been known to drop the price by
a third or more.

Hospitals
Scan Your Credit Reports

Some hospitals
have taken up the controversial practice of looking at patient
credit scores, credit card limits and even 401(k) information.
The issue has raised privacy concerns among consumer advocacy
groups.

Get
to Know Your Anesthesiologist

An inept
anesthesiologist can cause serious harm to a patient, including
death in the worst case scenario.  It’s best that you request
to interview anesthesiologists before your procedure so that you
can feel confident you’re getting the best care.

Sources:

Dr.
Mercola’s Comments:

One
of the reasons I am so passionate about sharing information
about healthful eating, exercise, and stress management is because
these basic strategies can help keep you out of the hospital.

There
are plenty of reasons — health related or otherwise – for
wanting to avoid hospitals, and several valid ones are listed
in the Main Street article above, from having your identity
stolen to getting killed…

Over
the past decade, health care settings have become increasingly
dangerous, mainly because hospitals are prime breeding grounds
for newer, deadly superbugs like MRSA and other serious infections.
Other reasons include understaffing and human mistakes.

The
Frightening Statistics of Hospital Infection Rates

According
to CDC statistics, approximately 1.7 million Americans contract
infections during hospital stays, and 99,000
deaths are attributed to these infections
each year! And
that’s just ONE cause of death directly attributable to
the medical system you entrust with your health care needs.

Most
of these hospital acquired infections could be avoided if hospitals
maintained stricter infection control measures; simple strategies
such as washing
hands before touching each patient
, and making sure bedding
is cleaned, for example, go a long way to ensure a safer environment.

As
I’ve mentioned many times before, the modern
health care system as a whole is the leading cause of death

in the US. And well-intentioned but ill-informed US doctors
are the third leading cause of death
. Their mistakes claim
some 225,000 lives every year.

Knowing
what we know about infection rates in hospitals, I strongly
recommend checking yours out. In the above article, Main Street
provides a helpful link to Consumer
Reports’ listing of infection rates at major hospitals
across
the US.

You
can review this list and see how the hospitals in your area
fare before you plan an elective surgery, for example.

Should
you fall ill, either ask to be taken to another hospital, or
ask a friend or family member to stay with you to ensure proper
hygiene measures are employed.

Americans
Pay TWICE as Much for Health Care, but Receive the WORST Quality
of Care

This
was true in 2008
, and over the past two years absolutely
nothing has changed.

American
medical care is still the most expensive in the world. We spend
twice as much for health care, per person, than other industrialized
countries. And we’re still
in last place among seven countries surveyed
, when it comes
to preventing avoidable deaths and providing quality care.

The
US also has a drastically different range
of life expectancy between people living in richer or poorer
states
. A 30-year gap now exists in the average life expectancy
between Mississippi, in the Deep South, and Connecticut, in
prosperous New England.

Sadly,
the decline in life expectancy in these worst-off areas are
primarily caused by a rise in a number of preventable
diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes,
highlighting the dire need for proper health education and preventive
measures.

The
latest Commonwealth Fund report
– which used data from
“nationally representative patient and physician surveys in
seven countries in 2007, 2008, and 2009″ – again ranked
the United States dead last, compared to Britain, Canada, Germany,
Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. 

According
to Reuters:

“The
report looks at five measures of healthcare – quality,
efficiency, access to care, equity and the ability to lead
long, healthy, productive lives. 

Britain,
whose nationalized healthcare system was widely derided by
opponents of U.S. healthcare reform, ranks first in quality
while the Netherlands ranked first overall on all scores,
the Commonwealth team found.”

Ironically,
researchers are also finding that Americans
are increasingly being over-treated to death
. Treatments
that buy only weeks of time
are frequently employed when
patients are terminally ill, or dying from old age. Meanwhile,
medical bills are a leading cause of family bankruptcies.

Again,
most diseases and health conditions in the US are treated incorrectly
and inefficiently, at extremely high cost, and I believe
a major part of this problem is lack of prevention.

Focusing
our efforts on educating about healthful lifestyle strategies
could make all the difference, along with reducing our knee-jerk
inclination to treat every symptom with toxic drugs.

BEWARE
of July — The Most Dangerous Month for Any Hospital Stay

If
you live near a teaching hospital, you’ll want to pay attention
to these stats.

In
the US, medical students graduate and begin their residences
in July each year, and as a result of inexperience combined
with the sleep deprivation, medication and other medical errors
in teaching hospitals spike upward
. Additionally many inexperienced
interns and residents join the staff.

Nationally,
error
rates go up by 10 percent in July in teaching hospitals
,
a recent
study shows
, while non-teaching hospital error rates
stay more or less fixed.

I
agree with Main Street’s advice to investigate whether your
local hospital is a teaching hospital or not, and if you do
get sick, either request another hospital, or at least be prepared
to ask more questions to make sure you’re getting appropriate
care.

How
to Survive in a Diseased Health Paradigm

In
January of this year, Reuters reported that the U.S.
spent $2.3 trillion dollars on health care in 2008.
But
although this was slightly less than projected, showing the
slowest rise in health care costs in nearly 50 years, it’s still
dramatically disproportionate compared to what other nations
are capable of accomplishing with less than half of what the
US spends.

By
2017, health care spending is projected to exceed $4 trillion.
This is largely due to the reliance on a medical system
that treats only symptoms and never the cause of disease
.
The US also tends to over-test
and over-treat
, and I think it’s obvious by now that most
Americans are grossly over-medicated
.

Still,
every available index shows that this multitrillion-dollar investment
is a miserable failure.

More
drugs, more surgeries, and more medical tests do not equal better
health. All it does is bankrupt individuals, and the nation
as a whole.

Will
anything change as the US health care reform takes effect?

I
sincerely doubt it, because the attitude toward health
care is not being properly addressed. The reform is simply trying
to figure out how to keep paying these exorbitant prices.

Preventive
measures are still largely ignored.

I
still believe you can influence this negative trend, however,
by changing your own attitude toward health by realizing that
some of the best ways to improve your health are very inexpensive.
Some are even free.

Folks,
you CAN Take
Control of Your Health
. You don’t have to be just another
sad statistic.

There
are a number of basic strategies you can use to avoid getting
sucked into the current disease-care paradigm. Following these
guidelines will be a powerful way to avoid premature aging,
and improve your health, no matter what your age, so you can
avoid having to take your chances in a hospital.

  1. Eat
    a healthful diet that’s right for your nutritional type (paying
    very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)

  2. Drink
    plenty of clean water
  3. Manage
    your stress
  4. Exercise
    properly
  5. Enjoy
    some daily sunshine
  6. Limit
    toxin exposure
  7. Consume
    healthy fat
  8. Eat
    plenty of raw food
  9. Optimize
    insulin and leptin levels
  10. Get
    plenty of sleep

July
26, 2010

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