Rant: Mom goes to the hospital

Old 10-30-2011, 11:49 AM
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Default Rant: Mom goes to the hospital

Rant: Mom lived alone until last week.

My mom is in the hospital for the 2nd. time in 1 month. She was put in for a case of shingles and general tiredness for the most part. I found it amazing that know one on the hospital staff ever communicated with their co-workers or took the time to fully read all the notes in the chart. My mom has a habit of not taking her meds, so I made sure to inform the head nurse on the AM shift that you had to watch her swallow her pills. I also told them she had allergies to fish of all type and could not tolerate aspirin or aspirin products.

All was fine on the AM tour, except they served her fish for lunch (Friday), no big deal she could only die from it! Glad I caught it. I went back at night for a visit and there were 3 pills of varying states of being dissolved on her table top. Lucky for me I brought in moms full bag of meds from home that she never takes as an example. I approached the nurses’ station with the 3 pills and moms bag of pills in my hands but out of sight. I asked if these notes were in moms chart, and they were! Great then, maybe you can explain to me why these 3 pills were on her food tray? The reply I got was unsatisfactory to say the least "I saw her take them". So I held up moms bag on untaken meds and said, "This is one reason mom is here, I'd like you to make sure she takes her meds."

Mom got discharged to a nursing home for 2 weeks until her shingles were cleared enough for her to come live with me.

Mom wasn't eating right and was sleeping far too much for her, she normally walks a few miles a day even at 81 yrs old. I took her to a new MD (we live 100 miles north) and we put mom in hospital #2. Same details from me, same routine almost to a tee. Sure enough, my sister is visiting on Friday (first day in hospital) and they serve her fish for dinner. My sister not being me but knowing the story from hospital #1 flips out! Sure enough I arrive and a nurse walks in with baby aspirin for moms pain!

These are educated people, very nice educated people too, they meant no harm but they assumed far too much when treating my mom, and if I wasn’t paying attention who knows what may have happened. I can't imagine what takes place when family members are not involved with the care of their loved ones.

Note to you, if ever a family member is hospitalized you need to scrutinize every aspect of their ongoing care, do not just assume they are in good hands!
Old 10-30-2011, 12:20 PM
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I'm going to get flamed for this to no end... but here goes:

Remember: Doctors and Hospitals don't make much money if you're not sick.


Not say this applies to all doctors, so anyone that reads it and is offended, please, you're the exception to the rule.


I was just in the Hospital. They saw I had insurance and ran tests on me that should have, in reality, NEVER been run. They wanted to admit me (I signed out AMA) and I'm now fine.

Keep your Mom active and find out if there is a way to administer the meds in her food, etc. (if they can be taken with food).

I'll leave you with this. When we had our first kid, he was screaming like crazy in the nursery. (Just born) and we were "Breast Feed Only" parents... the nurse begged me to let her give him some formula, I told her I would sue her and the hospital if ANYTHING other than breast milk was given. She said, "Your son must eat, RIGHT NOW, what do you want me to feed him?" I said, "Breast Milk" she asked me, "And how do you expect me to do that?"

I replied, "Pick up the phone, have him brought to his mother, or have his mother brought to him, and he'll have all the breast milk he needs". I had to show her where HER phone was.

Point of the story? They're educated, but most of them are there for the money, not the profession.

(I just know I'm going to catch shit for this)...
Old 10-30-2011, 12:23 PM
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My wife's family has a rule which years ago I didn't understand -- never leave a family member alone at the hospital, always have someone sitting with them. I now understand and follow that rule. Hospital staff are often overworked and you can't count them to know what they should know.
Old 10-30-2011, 12:51 PM
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Hospitals and doctors are the only profession that gets paid when they screw up and gets paid again to fix their screw ups.
Old 10-30-2011, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gort View Post
Hospitals and doctors are the only profession that gets paid when they screw up and gets paid again to fix their screw ups.
the weather man has it all over those people
Old 10-30-2011, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gort View Post
Hospitals and doctors are the only profession that gets paid when they screw up and gets paid again to fix their screw ups.
Only? Gort, you're much smarter than that...

Lawyers,... what happens to the lawyers when a verdict gets reversed for incompetent council?

Politicians,... they get paid TO SCREW THINGS UP WORSE.

Unions,... get people paid to do nothing. Still people getting paid at bellevue hosp in NY to develop film, which hasn't been done in over a decade.


Do I need to go on?
Old 10-30-2011, 03:19 PM
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I agree, never leave a family member unattended for long at a hospital. The mistakes that are made always astound me. Nobody cares like you do, .....nobody.
Old 10-30-2011, 04:58 PM
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Remember hospitals are where people got to die...It sucks but thats the way it flushes. My father inlaw had a mild stroke goes to the hospital within a week he's 86'd from pnuemonia.. I convinced he caught it in the hospital.
Old 10-30-2011, 08:16 PM
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The hospital is where they keep all the germs and sick people...
Old 10-30-2011, 08:41 PM
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I think the hospital and doctors think their work is nothing but a business now days. When I was in the hospital for a broken leg I asked for my bill to be itemized so I could look at the charges. Some of the charges were a joke. The doctor that did my stomach surgery several years ago stopped by my room and asked me how I was doing since the surgery. I told him the surgery didn't work but the prescription drugs I have now work great. Guess what....he billed me for his visit! There was a $135 fee for someone to look at my x-rays for a 2nd opinion. This was AFTER I already had the nail put into my leg. Why would they need a 2nd opinion after I had surgery on my leg.

I told my doctor and the hospital that I would do my own physical therapy when I got home but they sent in a guy that helped me learn how to use my crutches to get up and down staris. This guy was very helpful. Then I had a women come to my room and told me she was going to show me how to get dressed, and take me downstairs of the hospital where they had a mock kitchen so she could help me learn how to take care of myself. That was the last time I ever seen her, but she billed me I think around $900.

They made me use this plastic breathing machine while I was laying in bed. It was supposed to keep me from getting pneumonia. They told me to take the thing home, of course they billed me like $100 for the stupid thing. Even little stuff that I thought would be free was billed to my account.

The good news is I refused to pay any of these fees/charges and the hospital said they would review my bill. They ended up removing all of the charges that I disputed.

It's nothing but a money making business now days. With the exception of a couple of nurses everything felt so In personable. I was in such horrible pain for 2 days and was told at least 5 times they were going to give me a pain patch, I never got one. Then when I asked for a pain shot it would take them forever to come to my room.

Old 10-30-2011, 10:38 PM
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My aunt (93) - who I had power of attorney for - passed away in Feb. 2010.

She was already in the hospital and had a major heart attack.

When the doctor called me to tell me she had passed away, he said they had worked on her for " ... 45 minutes ..." trying to revive her.

My aunt had a DNR (Do Not Resusitate) - meaning her wishes were NOT to be revived in a life-threatening situation! A copy of a DNR is SUPPOSE to "follow" a person around EVERY TIME they go TO the hospital, and FROM the hospital back to their home, nursing home, etc. - ALWAYS!

I KNOW the nursing home where she was living had one on file for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not sure if THEY dropped the ball, the AMBULANCE COMPANY dropped the ball, or the HOSPITAL dropped the ball??? ;?

Probably could have sued one, two or all three of them, if I really wanted to, but, in retrospect, I feel "good" that they DID try to bring her back.

Agree that you MUST watch out for the hospital staff - and assisted living staff - and nursing home staff, etc.. If it's not a case of abuse many times, it's neglect MOST of the time. All that crap for a measly $7,000+/mo. cost to the patient and/or the family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Old 10-31-2011, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by SimonFL View Post

Unions,... get people paid to do nothing. Still people getting paid at bellevue hosp in NY to develop film, which hasn't been done in over a decade.
X-Ray film is still common
Old 10-31-2011, 04:48 AM
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I was at a hospital years ago installing and upgrading monitoring
equipment in their ICU with one of their on-site bio-meds. I was
horrified. Bio-med informed me that the MD's would bet on how
long they could keep people alive...regardless of the cost, either
monetarily or to the persons dignaty. 93 year old woman laying
naked on a bed in plain sight...WTF???? This woman was never
going to be leaving, why would they put her through that??
Convinced me then and there to have "DNR" tatoo'ed across my
chest. If you want to get sick...Go to the hospital.
Old 10-31-2011, 05:40 AM
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As bad as they can be, Hospitals are usually (not always) better for you than self treatment at home. My dad probably caught the pneumonia that killed him in the hosptial, but he would have died years earlier without the treatments he received in the same hospital over the years.
Old 10-31-2011, 06:09 AM
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Unfortunately agreed with all of the above, my mom was in the hospital for 2 months last year (mostly the ICU) and I sat there next to her most of the time. I can't even get into it without seeing red, short version, the care was abysmal. They almost killed her at least once, (someone "forgot" they turned off the breathing machine), supposed to be for 5 minutes and they left to check on another patient, came back 2 hours later.

After billing medicare $70k and trying to discharge her as quickly as possible the last 2 days she was there, literally she is being wheeled out the front door and some woman comes running up with a clipboard demanding $1000 on the spot or she can't leave.

Incredibly she was (slowly) getting better the whole time she was there, but if things had taken a turn for the worse, there would have been hell to pay.

Even harder, my Dad refused to acknowledge anything was wrong and accused my sister and I of being in the way and keeping the nice hardworking trained professionals from doing their jobs. Even when they didn't know how to work the equipment.
Old 10-31-2011, 07:26 AM
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My dad is currently in the hospital and has been for 8 days. Surgery last thursday 24 hrs in icu.

We have not left him alone with out a family member in all that time. He has been getting pretty good treatment, he has been in a lot of pain and will be for a while.

My advice is have a family member stay with your mom, if that is impossible --- hire a sitter.
Old 10-31-2011, 10:23 AM
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Default Read up on the supplied link

The above link is an article published in the Radiology Journal dated 2000. It addresses in length the legal and medical issues relating to providing CPR to someone with existing DNR orders.

The thread, and the original contributor's comments are interesting.

1. Hospitals are dangerous places. Hospital acquired infections are well known, and can result in fatalities or significant morbidity.

2. Nurses, physicians, and dietiticians can and do make mistakes.

3. A vulnerable patient (incompetent person, elderly, or very sick) can't advocate for themselves very well if at all.

4. Family member should review the care and therapies prescribed and administered.

5. DNR orders can be rescinded at any time by the patient or a legal representative (Power of attorney etc) They may or may not "follow" the patient between nursing home/home/hospital and back again. Expect to have to regularly revisit the issue any time the patient's condition changes.

I work in a hospital and care for the very sick. The tricky decision is whether to provide CPR for a patient that is to undergo surgery. I'm called to provide anesthesia for patients that need surgery, but have DNR orders. You can't provide anesthesia without providing mechanical ventilation and putting a patient transciently on a ventilator. Sadly, some of these patients don't meet weening/extubation criteria even before undergoing surgery. Thus, if they wish to have the surgery, they will likely be on the ventilator afterwards. (May even die on the Ventilator) Some of the medicines I use can cause people to arrest and are completely reversable.

The choices must be reviewed with the patient (or family) every time. Either consent to ignore the DNR order, or don't provide the care. Real tough when grandma has a busted hip (from the nursing home) or a bowel obstruction. Letting people suffer and die is a decision almost nobody opt's for.

I heartily agree with the original poster. Do the best you can to look out for your loved ones when they are in the hospital. The hospital is no different than your home when your loved ones are involved.

Lastly, if nurses or physicians are careless and negligent regarding dietary or medical allergies, take your concerns up the hospital chain of command. Every unit has a head nurse, and every hospital has a Chief of Nursing. Most every hospital has a risk manager. If you are not satisfied, or observe dangerous activity, immediately insist on communicating up the chain of command (day or night shift) until your issues are resolved.
Old 10-31-2011, 11:13 AM
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Auto body shops operate in exactly the same way. It's the American way, you know.
Old 10-31-2011, 11:21 AM
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Bruce W, I have a DNR sign on my desk at work! I can see it now, They'll be beatin' on my chest saying "Don't leave us shorthanded now you bastard!".
Old 10-31-2011, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by aln View Post
Auto body shops operate in exactly the same way. It's the American way, you know.

A volume business.

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