Mature sick male patient sleeping in hospital bed. Patient waiting for his health recovery in hospital ward.

by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

The following is a true story that is, unfortunately, typical of the dangers in being admitted into hospitals today in the U.S.

The identity and location of the victim, as well as the hospital and medical personnel, are being withheld for now.

Medical records show that hospital errors today are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S., just after heart disease and cancer. See:

Hospital Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

In 2013 surgeon Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H, who serves as the co-director of The Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Research Group (QSRG) made the rounds in various media talk shows and news broadcasts to discuss his book Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care, which discusses how hospital errors now kill over 400,000 people a year.

The problem is getting worse each year, not better.

Here is one of Dr. Makary’s interviews:

Routine Hospital Visit Leads to Man’s Death

Carl was a fighter, a survivor. Nothing was handed to him in life.

When he was 15, both his father and mother walked out on him and his younger brother, leaving Carl alone to raise his sibling. Somehow, the two of them managed to earn enough money to keep paying the mortgage and save the family home.

With his parents gone, Carl was left to raise his younger brother alone, until his grandmother re-entered his life.

Carl was a handyman, seemingly able to fix anything. He went on to become a master plumber.

He retired in recent years as his health was not what it once was, but he still did odd jobs for friends and families. He was a tall man (over 6 feet tall), and always seemed to turn up anytime someone was in need and could benefit from his services.

But he was also a soft-spoken man. One had to listen to him carefully to catch what he was saying. He never really reconnected with his parents much after they walked out on him and his brother. He had children from an earlier marriage, but they did not live in the area and were not a big part of his life. His younger brother was really the only immediate family member with whom he stayed in close contact.

So when Carl started experiencing shoulder pain in his rotator cuff, one of his friends eventually convinced him to go have it checked out. His friends believe he began to experience problems with his shoulder after receiving a flu vaccine.

The most common crippling side effects from the flu vaccine are shoulder injuries, as this page from the DOJ report on vaccine injury compensations prove. (Note: SIRVA stands for “Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration.”)

flu shot should injury compensation

Carl was not one to visit doctors or seek medical care, however, and he would have rather endured the shoulder pain than ask for pain medication.

But his friend was insistent, so for her sake he begrudgingly agreed to be taken to the hospital, as he had been lying in bed with pain for so many days, that now his hip was starting to bother him also.

The diagnosis was supposedly “blood poisoning,” and they convinced Carl to be admitted to the hospital.

After running some tests, they put a stent in his shoulder to relieve the pain.

Soon after this, things started going down hill rapidly. His friends who visited him daily were shocked at how quickly his demeanor and personality were changing.

He developed pneumonia, and a Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection.

Instead of getting better, his condition was getting worse.

Carl began having so many problems breathing, that the medical staff were fearful of prescribing him pain medications, since in a sedated state he might have suffocated.

So Carl was in extreme pain, as his condition kept worsening.

Before long, a surgeon announced he needed back surgery to relieve an abscess on his spine. For some reason, they also wanted to scrap some of his bone from his spine for testing during the surgery.

After the surgery, Carl could no longer move his legs.

His friends became extremely concerned, and one them even stated: “We need to get him out of that hospital before they kill him!”

One of his friends looked up the name of the antibiotic medication they were told he had been prescribed, but she allegedly could not find it listed in any medication directory. They began to suspect that maybe the hospital was experimenting on Carl, using him as a human “guinea pig.”

The hospital started putting a 24 hour monitor in his room, such as a social worker, to watch over him.

He was supposed to begin therapy to recover, but when his insurance ran out, they transferred him to another facility for longer-term care.

They begged his brother to get him out of the hospital, but he decided to wait a few days and see if his condition improved first. In general, he seemed to trust the doctors and medical staff.

But his condition only got worse, and shortly after being transferred to the new facility, Carl died.

His friends were devastated! They were the ones who had encouraged him to visit the hospital originally, simply because of his shoulder pain.

Now, 6 weeks later, he was gone forever.

Do NOT Trust Hospitals!

While hospitals have their place, especially for trauma care, they are NOT to be trusted. As we stated above, it is documented that hospital errors are the 3rd leading cause of death today.

In the video above, Dr. Makary gives some practical advice:

“Patients who get the best care are highly informed. Get second opinions, ask about treatment alternatives, and come in with a loved one or family member to be a safety net.”

Private Patient Advocacy Groups?

What about people living mostly alone, with no family members available to advocate for them?

Carl had friends, but due to medical laws they had no authority to question medical treatment or even ask questions. The only one close by was his brother, who was not always available, and apparently was too trusting of the medical system.

Carl’s friends watched their friend who entered the hospital system due to chronic shoulder pain be tortured and killed by the hospital, and they were powerless to do anything about it.

If anyone knows of some good patient advocacy groups that we can list, groups with NO ties to Big Pharma or the government, please comment here or email us at Health Impact News.