Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New study: NHS patients are 45 percent more likely to die than US health care patients

Wes sent me this article from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Patients are 45% more likely to die in NHS hospitals than in US ones, according to figures revealing how badly England’s health service compares with those of other countries.

Previously unpublished data collated by Professor Sir Brian Jarman over more than 10 years found NHS mortality rates were among the worst of those in seven developed countries.

A patient in England was five times as likely to die of pneumonia and twice as likely to die of septicaemia compared to similar patients in the US, the leading country in the study, the data suggested.

The elderly were found to be particularly at risk in English hospitals compared with those in the other countries.

The figures showed that the situation had improved since 2004, when the death rate in English hospitals was 58% higher than that in the best performing country.

But NHS institutions still lagged behind in the most recent data, from 2012, despite reforms of the health service and increased funding.

Of the other six countries studied, only the US was named because of the sensitivity of the data.

Prof Sir Brian, who adjusted the data to take account of differences in the countries’ health services, did not initially release his figures because he was so shocked by them he at first assumed there must be a flaw in his methodology.

There was, however, “no means of denying the results,” he said.

“I expected us to do well and was very surprised when we didn’t,” the Imperial College London medic told Channel 4 News.

“If you go to the States, doctors can talk about problems, nurses can raise problems and listen to patient complaints.

“We have a system whereby for written hospital complaints only one in 375 is actually formally investigated. That is absolutely appalling.”

Previously, I had posted a summary of a book by Scott Atlas, a medical doctor at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. In that article, he laid out the reasons why the U.S. healthcare system was the best in the world.

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Adult stem cell therapy saves man who was told he had 120 days to live

A striking story from Life News.

Excerpt:

Tony Underhill lived a full, active life until Systemic Scleroderma ravaged his body and confined him to a wheelchair.  The autoimmune disease slowly hardened his skin until he could hardly move.

[…]Tony went to the best doctors in Nashville and later to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. They tried everything to treat him but nothing worked. Eventually they sent him home with devastating news.

“They told me I had systemic scleroderma,” said Tony.  “They treated me for 10 days and the day I checked out of the hospital, on my release papers under prognosis, it said “unfortunate.” I asked the doctor, you know, unfortunate, what does this mean?  He told me that, what he told me was there was no cure for it.  And that basically I had 120 days left. So I came home and all the things that I was doing last year was going to be gone – and I was gonna be gone too!”

But the story didn’t end there:

An acquaintance of Missy and Tony had read a story in Reader’s Digest about a patient being treated for Scleroderma with Adult Stem Cells.  Missy went to work researching and tracked down the patient featured in the story. The patient told her she had undergone an adult stem cell transplant several years ago in a clinical trial and that adult stem cells had saved her life.

Tony applied and was accepted into a similar clinical trial underway with Dr. Richard Burt at Northwestern University in Chicago. Missy says it was miraculous to see the adult stem cells go to work: “When he received the adult stem cell transplant, the day after, I have it videoed on my phone, literally we felt like he could move his hands slightly better, he could open his mouth wider. It was pretty immediate that we started to see results.”

Tony says, “Every day after I got my transplant, every day was getting better.  Every day was like getting a new shot of life in your arm every day.”

And as of today, Tony has his health back again and he continues to improve. He’s running his construction business, working out at his exercise bike and says he’s back to about 80% of his original mobility.

“I’m a walking miracle.  I’m lucky to be here, you know. Now, if I’m working with my guys, if they need me out there to work, run a machine for them to make the day better or something like that, I’ll run the backhoe, track hoe, drive a dump truck, run a Bobcat, asphalt roller, whatever I need to do.”

Adult stem cell therapies not only work, but they don’t involve the destruction of human life, like embryonic stem cell therapies do.

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New report exposes NHS socialized medicine as an unmitigated disaster

The UK Telegraph reports on the sorry state of socialist Britain. (H/T Dina)

Excerpt:

Eleven NHS trusts were put into “special measures” after an investigation found thousands of patients died needlessly because of poor care.

The report blamed poor staffing levels and lack of oversight, and said that staff did not address the needs of patients. It concluded the hospitals investigated were “trapped in mediocrity”.

[…]The review, ordered by the Prime Minister, began in February following the public inquiry into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire Hospital Foundation Trust, where up to 1,200 people died amid “appalling” failings in care.

Inspectors visited 21 hospitals, run by 14 NHS trusts, which had the highest recent mortality rates in England. They found that some of the risks to patients were so severe that they were forced to step in immediately.

[…]At Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, junior doctors described a “frightening” workload which left them responsible for up to 250 patients at weekends. Elderly patients were left on the lavatory with the door open, while others were left on trolleys for hours on end. At one of the trust’s community hospitals, nurses were forced to call 999 because there were not enough doctors.

At Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, patients’ families had to feed other patients because nurses were busy while other vulnerable elderly people were left in soiled conditions. At Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, relatives said they were not only washing and dressing patients but turning them to prevent bed sores. Receptionists were left to take decisions about how quickly patients were seen in A&E, as happened in Mid Staffs.

Sir Bruce said: “For me this is in many ways a difficult day for the NHS — because we are laying bare some truths. On the other hand, the transparency with which this review has been conducted, I hope will be a turning point for the NHS.”

Dirt and dust was found to be “ingrained” on the wards at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and two operating theatres were shut immediately due to poor hygiene.

Figures showed up to 13,000 excess deaths since 2005 at the 14 trusts investigated, advisers to the review said.

“No statistics are perfect but mortality rates suggest that since 2005 thousands more people may have died that would normally be expected at the 14 trusts reviewed,” Mr Hunt told the Commons.

At Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, up to 1,600 people more than expected may have died during the period. Inspectors found patients stayed up to two weeks in temporary areas without shower facilities. Others were left in ambulances “stacked” outside A&E departments, or waiting hours on trolleys.

At East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, high numbers of stillbirths at the maternity unit — eight in March — were never investigated, nor reported to the trust’s board. An elderly woman was discharged at 3am and told she had “no choice”, inspectors found.

Patients at George Eliot Hospital waited up to 10 days to see a senior doctor. Nurses were not trained to treat bedsores, leaving patients in crippling pain. At Sherwood Forest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, inspectors found significant backlogs of scans and X-rays which had never been examined, and complaints which dated back three years.

At Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, whose chief executive and medical director resigned this month, wards had no doctors in charge at nights, while patients were shifted from ward to ward.

At United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust there were 12 “never events” — incidents so serious, such as operations on the wrong part of the body, or surgical instruments left inside a patient, that they should never occur — in three years. Patients felt too frightened to complain in case it led to worse care, the report found.

What happened? How is it that UK citizens and businesses pay over half their incomes to the government, and yet the government cannot even provide basic health care for customers?

The missing factor

Let Dr. Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, explain why the NHS has failed to please their customers:

The NHS is what happens when people repeatedly elect governments that are ignorant of basic economics.

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Can you trust big government to take care of your health?

Let’s take a look at another story about socialized medicine from the UK, from the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

The picture Sarah Fleming took of her husband Stewart is one that will haunt her for ever.

Taken on her mobile phone, it shows him sitting in a hospital cubicle, a hand clutching his stomach, his face a vivid reflection of the agony he was in, as he waited to be seen by doctors.

Tragically, that picture is a heartrending reminder of the circumstances leading up to the railway signalman’s death. It is also a vivid illustration of the turmoil unfolding in overstretched hospital emergency departments.

For the father-of-two, 37, from Rainham, in Kent, had to endure a six–hour wait to see a doctor in A&E at Gillingham’s Medway Maritime Hospital. He had a letter from his GP asking him to be admitted immediately.

He had been to see his GP that day because the antibiotics he had been taking for flu-like systems had failed to work. He was referred straight to hospital. But when he arrived, on December 15, 2008, the hospital was facing an unusually busy period. Staff sickness, a cold weather snap and an increase in GP referrals meant the hospital was under pressure.

He was admitted at 5.30pm, but was not seen until 11.15pm. By then, the mystery virus Stewart had contracted was attacking his heart, kidneys and liver. Despite being transferred to London’s Harefield Hospital, where he was placed into a drug-induced coma, he died on December 27.

And another from the same article:

She was a frail woman who deserved to be treated with dignity and kindness. Instead, Ethel Martin, 91, died after developing deep vein thrombosis having spent 16 hours on a trolley at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The great-grandmother was admitted to hospital on April 17, 2006, complaining of feeling breathless. Her family were with her when she was put in a curtained-off bay in the overstretched A&E department — the hospital saw 365 patients in A&E that day — at about 5pm.

They returned home in the early hours, assuming she would be cared for, but were shocked when they came back the next day at 9am and found her in the same position. She hadn’t slept because the trolley was so uncomfortable.

After Mrs Martin, of Chorlton, Greater Manchester, was found a bed, her condition deteriorated and she was diagnosed with DVT. She was treated with blood-thinning drugs but died on May 1, following a cardiac arrest.

At an inquest into her death, pathologist Dr Richard Fitzmaurice said lying on her trolley could have contributed to her death. ‘Immobility is a recognised factor in the build-up of deep vein thrombosis.’

A coroner recorded a verdict of misadventure, on the grounds Mrs Martin’s death was the unintended consequence of medical treatment.

Mr. Stewart probably paid into the NHS his entire life before he needed care, and was denied it. That’s wow socialized medicine works. You pay into it. The government takes your money and buys votes from young people, by providing contraception, breast implants, HIV drugs, abortions, IVF and sex changes. When you get old, and need care, then you get in line behind people who have never paid a dime into the system. By that time, you’ll have no money of your own to get treatment from a private hospital. In Canada, you would have to leave the country and pay out of pocket for immediate care. That’s what the left thinks is such a great idea.

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New study: belief in God can significantly improve mental health outcomes

From Psych Central. (H/T Rob P.)

Excerpt:

A new study suggests belief in God may significantly improve the outcome of those receiving short-term treatment for psychiatric illness.

Researchers followed patients receiving care from a hospital-based behavioral health program to investigate the relationship between patients’ level of belief in God, expectations for treatment and actual treatment outcomes.

In the study, published in the current issue of Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers comment that people with a moderate to high level of belief in a higher power do significantly better in short-term psychiatric treatment than those without.

“Belief was associated with not only improved psychological well-being, but decreases in depression and intention to self-harm,” says David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The study looked at 159 patients, recruited over a one-year period. Each participant was asked to gauge their belief in God as well as their expectations for treatment outcome and emotion regulation, each on a five-point scale.

Levels of depression, well-being, and self-harm were assessed at the beginning and end of their treatment program.

Obviously, the issue of God’s existence is a matter to be decide based on what is true and false, but this kind of story might help us to get motivated for persuasion.

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