Monday, August 13, 2012

Common Medical Errors & Interventions That Could Be Life Threatening

I am writing this blog article out of sheer frustration with the medical model in the United States and Canada. This article is my personal story and recent experiences with two people that I love dearly.

The medical system (conventional medicine) is there for a reason. Emergency medicine is great. Trauma surgeons are amazing. It's amazing that we live in a time where you survive even though you may have a severe wound. But, my frustration is with the model of conventional medicine that treats disease with toxic drugs.

Recently a family member went into the hospital for a minor surgery. She was supposed to be out within four days and at home doing rehab. They had her on pain killers every four hours, even though she wasn't complaining of pain. They had her on a morphine drip - even though she rarely used it. Her blood pressure dropped but they didn't consider changing her blood pressure medication dosage. They decided she was too weak to go home and put her into a rehabilitation center. She couldn't sleep so they gave her a sleeping pill. She woke up in the middle of the night to use the washroom and slipped and fell (she was totally out of it from the sleeping pill). She complained of pain immediately in her back so they gave her oxycodone twice in one day. I haven't mentioned it yet, but this person has never really taken any drugs in her life and is very sensitive to any drugs. After the oxycodone, she became extremely nauseous. They sent her to the hospital. The hospital took an EKG and thought she may have had a minor heart attack but admitted that they weren't totally sure. Two cardiologists came into her room and said that her chart said she had a previous heart attack and had coronary artery disease. Never in her life had she had chest pain, let alone a heart attack. She has a perfectly healthy heart. She was out of it from all the drugs they put her on and wasn't mentally stable. But, instead of asking family members, the doctor asked her and decided that she had a heart problem (based totally off misinformation). They put her on Lipitor and a blood thinner immediately (despite the fact that she was still extremely nauseous and couldn't keep anything down - they gave it to her through an IV instead. The family requested no more drugs and while they were out, the nurse slipped in and gave another injection of blood thinner. She became even more sick. But, when asked, the doctors still couldn't conclude that she even had a heart problem.

The most frustrating part of this story is that the doctors were too busy to really check to make sure there was a problem before they put her on a protocol of toxic drugs because they thought it was possible that she could have a heart problem (she is 90 years old!!).  The family finally stood up to the doctors and said no more medication - and WALAAA!!! she started to feel better....

This story makes me sick. It makes me angry to think that people are in the hospital because they are sick, but the hospital is making them even more sick (and most of the time they don't realize it). Families are not aware of what is happening and they often don't know what to do.

This system needs to change, that's for sure. The hospital should be a place where people can go to get better (and it is for some - emergency and trauma cases) - and not come out with a handful of toxic drugs that just make them more sick over time.


Svea Lynn is a traditional Naturopath, classical homeopath and holistic doula. Her private doula practice can be found here.