Glenn Beck: Kevin, MD’s take, and my addition

I wrote a blog entry on this topic yesterday, then deleted it, as it wasn’t very nice. Kevin, MD’s Dr. Pho has covered 75% of what I wanted to say on his blog today (nicely), here; read his blog entry then come back here for the rest of what I wanted to say:

Kevin, M.D. – Medical Weblog: Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck’s hospital horror story is getting some attention. Apparently, he had a surgical procedure with marked post-op pain. As physicians tried to control his pain with increasing doses of narcotics, he suffered adverse reactions as a result.

This is one of those amazing occurrences in medicine that makes all of us in Emergency Medicine alternately furious and incredulous, the “Just go to the ER” from a physician who knows the patient much better than the EM doc will, knows what outcome they want, what the patient will need, but cannot be bothered with the 10 minutes of administrative time it’d take for the direct admit to happen. This is what Mr. Beck should have had in the first place, and then a lot of his problems / complaints wouldn’t have happened. He didn’t need the ED, he needed his doctors to take care of their patient.

Mr. Beck was operated on that day in the same facility he was sent back to for re-admission, after having clearly been identified by the anesthesiologist on the case as having significant problems with pain control. He probably shouldn’t have been sent home (disclaimer: all this is from reading one side of the story, but the story as told isn’t particularly flattering to anyone) and definitely shouldn’t have been sent to the ED, he should have been directly admitted and taken care of by the doctors whose complication this was.

This is a cautionary tale for everyone: when your doctor says ‘just go to the ER’ ask about the alternatives. Maybe it’ll shame your doctor into caring for you.


Comments

  1. I wonder if Mr. Beck checked out A.M.A.?

  2. I so strongly empathized with mr. Becks hospital horror story. Having had 2 major hospital stays myself and just having spent near a month between er’s , hospital rooms, and nursing homes with my girlfriends mother, who is suffering from complications of Lupus, I have much to say about the negligent and even dangerous reality of having to be in one of these institutions for any length of time. The coldness, disregard for patient individualities and special needs, from the er to the or to other aspects of patient care… I am thoroughly disgusted at the ineptness I witnesed, filthy and unsanitary practices and conditions which I could go into but won’t. Not to mention mis- diagnosis and especially the amounts of medications and even moreso the wrong medications administered to individuals with acute sensitivities……I could document many scenerios which anyone may write me about..skyblu_350@hotmail.com. There is much to mch to cover hear, but my heart goes out to Mr. Beck. We definately need some kind of patient advocacy and I mean by those individuals who are educated holistically, (I will explain if you write me) and with a reasonable amount of intuition, compassion , medical knowlege and especially empathy. thanks for listening.

  3. Life is good says:

    Ms. Young,
    Remember that health care workers are human beings. You are going to encounter huge variations of compassion and empathy with each person. All we hear about are the “horror stories.” You know there are good nurses,doctors and techs out there. And I am one of them. All to often the good stories never get told.
    It’s never fun to be a patient, ever. But I treat each one as I would like to be treated. If I can honestly say at the end of the day I made 100% effort to do so, then I am doing my job. Someone may still complain. There are some problems the ER can’t fix, but we can give you the info/resources you need to fix the problem. Unfortunately for some people this isn’t enough.
    I don’t care to hear your stories because they are one-sided. The Beck story is one-sided. Don’t throw your stones at hard-working people who care until you’ve heard the whole thing. I hope you complained to every administrator in every facility that was inept. They need to hear it and make the appropriate changes.

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