Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Don't Have A Heart Attack

At least not in a hospital. I wonder how much this problem is caused by a lack of registered nurses? If hospitals were fully staffed with nurses, they wouldn't have to "run so fast" or "drag their feet" to save a patient with a sudden cardiac event.
The consequences were striking. When the defibrillation was delayed, only 22.2 percent of patients survived long enough to be discharged from the hospital, as opposed to 39.3 percent when the shock was given on time.

The study, being published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, is the largest ever to look at what happened to patients with “shockable” abnormalities in heart rhythm, and to correlate their outcomes with the time it took to deliver the needed shock.

Delays were more likely in patients whose hearts stopped at night or on the weekend, who were admitted for noncardiac illnesses, in hospitals with fewer than 250 beds and in units without heart monitors.

Being black also increased the odds of a delay, but the researchers said this finding probably reflected the quality of hospitals in areas where most blacks live and are treated, rather than a decision by medical workers to drag their feet because of a patient’s race.

While I had hoped that things like health care would be fully funded because it would be the right thing to do, & if I wasn't married to a health care worker, & I read the selection above, I would believe that it is individual doctors & nurses that were actually causing the deaths because the couldn't move fast enough. The idiotic bias in the reportage really pisses me off. While the reporter does mention staff shortages, there is no mention of the primacy of shareholder value, or cost effective health care*.

*Normal person translation: lay off the Bachelor's educated nurses & pay someone minimum wage to do their job. & blame them if they don't run fast enough & a patient dies.

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