safety

  1. Doctor dangers

    How to cut down on medical mistakes

    What's the best way to cut down on medical mistakes? If you're thinking "improve safety and learn from previous mistakes," then you don't have what it takes to be a doctor these days.

    No, here's their idea of boosting safety: Change the definition of "mistake" so it doesn't include your own screw-up -- and whatever you do, don't report it... don't investigate it... and don't take steps to make sure it never happens again.

    There. Except for the dead patient, it's like it never happened.

    Believe it or not, that's not some wild exaggeration -- that's the picture of American hospitals painted by a damning new report from our own government.

    The Department of Health and Human Services says six out of seven medical mistakes are never reported, as required under Medicare rules -- in many cases because these mistakes happen so often that doctors and nurses don't even think of them as mistakes!

    Injuries, infections, wrong meds, overdoses, bedsores, patient mix-ups -- you name it, it's happening... and it's happening thousands of times a day.

    That's why doctors and nurses are REQUIRED to report them... that's why hospitals are REQUIRED to keep a record on them.

    But according to the new report, only a fraction of those mistakes are reported -- and only a fraction of those ever lead to changes in policy or practice designed to prevent the mistake from happening again.

    That's why 130,000 patients are hurt -- and 15,000 people are KILLED -- by medical screw-ups every single month.

    And that's why it's going to keep happening.

    Want to know what's really scary here? Those are just the numbers for Medicare patients. Throw in everyone else, and who knows how high the real numbers are -- but it's clear your life is on the line every time you set foot in a hospital.

  2. The 'sins of omission' that could kill you

    Researchers leave out critical data

    If there's a snake more slippery than a politician running for office, it's a medical researcher on the Big Pharma payroll. The difference? When those researchers lie, patients die.

    Researchers routinely leave out safety data, exaggerate drug benefits, and downplay side effects -- and despite all that, their papers breeze through peer review and land in the pages of the world's most prestigious journals. And then YOU get to read about them on the front page of The New York Times.

    Well, one of those journals is blowing the whistle on the whole operation. BMJ has published no less than seven new papers exposing the shady world of drug research -- and it's every bit as ugly as what I've been telling you.

    One team of research detectives managed to get hold of the unpublished data from the published trials of nine drugs. Of 41 later meta-analyses that relied on those studies, 38 would have had completely different outcomes if the missing data had been there all along.

    And if you think the studies that get published are fatally flawed, you should see what DOESN'T get sent to the journals.

    Researchers deliberately and routinely hide studies that don't turn out as planned. And believe it or not, there's almost no penalty for this. Heck, drug companies will REWARD you for it.

    In all, nearly 80 percent of the studies concluded in 2009 disappeared completely, according to another BMJ study.

    Even many of the studies YOU pay for never see the light of day: Less than half the research funded by the National Institutes of Health -- studies that are often little more than gifts to the drug industry -- are published within 30 months, and a third remain unpublished even at the three-year mark, according to BMJ.

    The editors of BMJ are demanding big-time changes, including disciplinary action against researchers who hide their data.

    All I can say is, don't hold your breath.

  3. Dopey ruling on medical marijuana

    In the latest defense of Big Pharma's best-selling pain meds, the Department of Justice ruled that marijuana has no medical value at all, can't be used safely and has a high potential for abuse even when given under a doctor's supervision.
  4. Docs question safety of swine flu vaccine

    Before you roll up your sleeve to get that Swine Flu vaccine shot, keep in mind that the doctor who's sticking you with that needle probably opted not to get the shot – because he or she was too afraid of side effects.
  5. Scientists uniting to attack FDA inaction on BPA

    The scientific community has finally taken a stand against BPA and called the FDA on the carpet for the federal agency's repeated claims that BPA is safe.
  6. Vioxx studies proven to be marketing "study"

    According to Merck internal memos uncovered by lawyers working on the Vioxx lawsuits, one of the "studies" that helped establish Vioxx as a superior painkiller wasn't a real study at all, but was, in fact, a stealth Merck marketing strategy.
  7. FDA approves irradiated produce

    The FDA is allowing fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce to be zapped with radiation in order to kill bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
  8. The truth about vaccine defenders

    Finally, the mainstream media has started to follow the trail of pennies to the source of the vaccination issue.
  9. Deadly Chinese blood thinner found in 11 countries

    The FDA has warned a Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer about contaminated heparin - a blood thinner that's been traced to one of their plants.
  10. Red-light cameras do more harm than good

    Researchers in Florida have found that those Orwellian red-light cameras have significantly increased traffic accidents at the intersections where they've been placed.

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