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Hospitals Are a Dangerous Place

Updated on February 4, 2015

We go to hospitals to get cured from minor and major health issues. We trust our health professionals to always do the right thing and expect no negligence or mistakes, and most of the time, things do work and lives are saved. But with more and more patients burying health providers in sheer numbers, many hospitals are cutting costs by reducing staff while patient loads explode. As the Ebola epidemic showed, it only takes a single lapse in procedure to start a major health issue that can rapidly spread. The more medical staff is under pressure to handle more and more patients, human error is bound to occur and a healthy person could be infected with a virus or disease. While hospitals are clean, they are still germ incubators with all the sickness. Blood transfusions and food viruses are common problem areas.

A new study reveals that if you have a heart attack, the hospital is NOT the place to have it! It goes against all common sense that this could be true because that is where you will end up anyway. About 10,000 people suffer from them while in a hospital while being treated for other major non-heart issues or undergoing surgery. Usually, a blood clot is the cause. The study showed that a person who suffers a heart attack outside of a hospital and rushed to ER will have a ECG within 5 minutes upon arrival. If the person is already in the hospital, it will take on average 40 minutes. That is because many are non-cardiac patients and recognizing the attack is not as quick. There delays in finding a doctor. In ER, upon ECG results are revealed, treatment occurs within one hour. Yet, in a hospital, treatment takes over two hours! It takes time to get the doctors together to read the data. What is most important is the fatality rate: a heart victim rushed into ER only has a 4% chance of death. Yet, those already in a hospital for other reasons have a 40% chance!

One study examined the records of 62,000 heart attack patients from 303 hospitals and found that 34% of them died before being discharged. Compare this to only a 9% fatality rate among heart attack patients who are rushed into ER. It was also found that 65% of the ER patients got a treatment for a blocked artery, while only 22% of them already in the hospital, did.

Hospitals are now now implementing more training of staff about the recognition of heart symptoms, order ECG immediately to check for S-T elevation and a fast response team (as in ER) to prep for catheterization for in-hospital patients. The plan it to bring the mortality rate down to 30%.

So, if you feel a heart is coming on, make sure you are just outside of the hospital.


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    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 2 years ago from Ohio

      Last time I worked in a hospital I know they did a lot of training on this. However, if mistakes were made the nurse was often ridiculed. Hard for everyone.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 2 years ago

      Absolutely-recognizing the symptoms that are not associated with heart attacks should be in training

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 2 years ago from Ohio

      These statistics are very enlightening. The rapid response teams are one way to overcome this problem, but they only can do their work if someone is present to notice a problem and calls them. :)