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Medical Error

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 11:36 AM

MP claims surgeon involved in series of deaths

by MARTIN JOHNSTON, Health Reporter
The National Party's health spokeswoman has accused a Tauranga surgeon of involvement in a series of patient complications and deaths.

Speaking under parliamentary privilege yesterday, Dr Lynda Scott claimed that Dr Ian Breeze's treatment of bowel cancer patient Lionel Crowley, who died in 1999, was part of a wider pattern of poor care.

The Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal found Dr Breeze guilty of professional misconduct in August over his care of 65-year-old Mr Crowley.

He died of a severe infection within five days of failed bowel surgery that allowed faeces to leak into his abdomen.

The tribunal ordered Dr Breeze to pay more than $50,000 in costs and a fine. But it rejected the public safety-based request of Morag McDowell, Director of Proceedings in the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner, to impose conditions on his practice.

The tribunal said this was because as far as it knew, Dr Breeze's poor care of Mr Crowley was a "one-off series of events".

In the House yesterday, Dr Scott said that far from being a one-off, "the death of Lionel Crowley is just the tip of the iceberg".

She asked why Dr Breeze's practising certificate had not been restricted despite a series of patient complications, deaths and a competence review.

Medical Council spokesman George Symmes said outside Parliament that as a result of that review Dr Breeze was undergoing a retraining programme on bowel surgery and was restricted to doing this kind of work only under supervision.

His practice is restricted at Southern Cross Norfolk Hospital, where Mr Crowley was initially treated, and by Tauranga Hospital, where he is limited to minor surgery.

Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson said he was considering reopening complaint files on two other deceased patients of Dr Breeze, at the request of their families. Such requests were always considered, but he would reopen a file only in exceptional cases.

The surgeon's lawyer, Harry Waalkens, said seeking to reopen the cases so long after Mr Paterson dismissed the complaints was unfair.

"I'm flabbergasted that Ron Paterson would be talking about these details where he is being asked to consider re-opening the case."

Mr Paterson said he had received six complaints about Dr Breeze, of which four alleged serious failings.

One, Mr Crowley's case, went to the tribunal and two were dismissed following an investigation.

The fourth, from a friend of the patient, was not investigated, because the family did not support it and Dr Breeze was already on the retraining programme.

A fifth complaint, of a less serious matter, was being assessed to see if it warranted investigation.

ACC Minister Ruth Dyson, in written answers to Dr Scott, said the Accident Compensation Corporation had approved five medical mishap claims involving Dr Breeze in the past decade.

She refused to say if it had approved any medical error claims, but Mr Paterson said ACC had told his office of two error findings.

The surgeon's wife, Lynley, said Dr Breeze was unavailable because he was away on the South Island.

Dr Ian Breeze

* Found guilty of professional misconduct after a patient died of post-operative infection.

* Six complaints to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

* Five ACC findings in the past decade of medical "mishap" - rare but severe complications of treatment properly given.

* Two ACC findings of medical "error" - substandard care.

* Retraining under way on bowel surgery after Medical Council concerned by audit of his work. Restricted to minor surgery at Tauranga Hospital.

* Several of the cases have been investigated by more than one medical authority.

#22 Guest_NoRehab_*

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 11:05 PM

Woman left in agony waiting for surgery
20 January 2004

Southland couple Alecia and Steven Cameron can't stand to be ignored any longer by hospitals and hope ACC will help them because "no one else cares."

"I just want them to please do something. I really can't bear this much longer," Mrs Cameron whispers.

For the past two years the couple say they have felt increasingly hopeless at their treatment except by their GP David Hamilton, "the only one that listens to us." However, Dr Hamilton said yesterday he couldn't force the hospitals and surgeons to do what he requested.

"I'd like to be able to sometimes and this is one of those times." The two boards, the Southland District Health Board and the Canterbury District Health Board, decided that Mrs Cameron's stomach problems must be treated only in Christchurch because that's where Mrs Cameron lived until a year ago.

The stomach stapling had initially been done for medical reasons because Mrs Cameron had a serious obesity problem, Dr Hamilton said.

"I weighed 24 stone (152.7kg). There was something really weird and wrong with me after my children were born. I kept getting bigger so they stapled my stomach up," Mrs Cameron said.

However, within hours of the surgery she had nearly died when the staples burst open and her lungs flooded with blood, she said.

The surgeon left Timaru a few months later, she said.

"I nearly died but they managed to fix me up again and I was in hospital for over six weeks." Since then she has suffered multiple side-effects and eight years ago her health started seriously deteriorating, she said.

"It's feels like forever." Dr Hamilton described Mrs Cameron, 52, as a very gentle and fragile person suffering a huge amount of pain.

"It does make me sad to see her like this," he said.

Even with several surgical procedures called gullet dilatations (stretching) over the years her condition was deteriorating, he said.

"She's now fast approaching the opposite problem because she finds it difficult to eat," Dr Hamilton said.

Christchurch surgeon Phil Bagshaw had performed all the procedures, the last one in July last year.

Mrs Cameron said she had been waiting since then to be called in for a stomach staple reversal, she said.

"He said he would do it but he must be too busy." Mr Bagshaw was on leave and couldn't be contacted yesterday.

In October last year Southland Hospital consultant surgeon Murray Pfeiffer told Dr Hamilton the Southland District Health Board would probably cover the costs of Mrs Cameron's stomach surgery at Christchurch hospital.

In written correspondence, Mr Pfeiffer says he thinks it is best Mr Bagshaw "assume responsibility" for Mrs Cameron's care.

"I think the reluctance to do so here (Southland Hospital) is based more on the fact that she is an out of area patient than on clinical grounds," Mr Pfeiffer says.

Mr Pfeiffer was unable to be contacted yesterday.

Mrs Cameron can digest only a supplementary powdered food, is constantly doubled up with wrenching stomach pain and often lies on the floor and cries from the pain.

Mr Cameron said it killed him to find her lying, whimpering and crying like a "beaten soul." "Why doesn't someone just do this operation and argue about the costs and things afterwards ... I mean look at her, it's not bloody right. It's cruelty leaving her like this."

Mrs Cameron said if it wasn't for Dr Hamilton she would be too scared to hope she could get better than this.

"I'll hang on because he says I can," she said.

Two weeks ago Dr Hamilton lodged a claim with ACC for Mrs Cameron claiming medical misadventure resulting from her operation in 1987.

"I'm very hopeful because we meet the criteria. People need to be sympathetic with her – this is not her fault, you know," he said.

Maybe she'll get to have the operation privately through ACC and not have to wait and wait like this, he said.,00.html

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 01:29 AM

All Press Releases for June 12, 2004
132,000 U.S. Women Dying Every Year from Iotrogenic Infectious Diseases
Unregulated Private Physicians: A Major Problem For Women

Mansfield, OH (PRWEB) June 12, 2004 --

FATAL PROBE by Will Locksley - Six year study of 400 medical records, case files and interviews uncovers what could be the greatest cover-up ever by the American Medical Association.

New release/two weeks:, Barnes & Noble, ... Prerelease copy available for download to media as PDF at no charge.

Exerpts from the book, Chapter IX:
Unregulated Private Physicians: A Major Problem for Women

In an average year in the U.S. there are 110 million gynecological examinations in the offices of private practitioners and clinics. At least 3.3 million of them are contracting infectious/contagious diseases.

As discussed in Chapter II, the Institute of Medicine estimates that over 100,000 patients die every year in U.S. hospitals as a result of medical errors or mistakes…. and beginning in 1999 that dialogue was sold to the American public in newspaper banners and on TV news programs across the nation. However, the important story is that 80% or 80,000 of those 100,000 patients die from an infectious disease.

This fact – published by the CDC – was noted in earlier reports in 1999, but seldom mentioned when reported on in recent years. The 80,000 who die from infectious diseases are conveniently ‘bundled in’ with the other 20,000, most of whom did die because of medical errors.

Why is this a big deal? Why is this noteworthy? For two primary reasons:
1. Many, if not most of those 80,000 deaths (every year) are preventable.
2. The 80,000 represent only 4% of the estimated 2,000,000 (two million) hospital patients who are actually cross-infected every year.

Most patient-to-patient infections are preventable because they are primarily caused by the conscious, predetermined use of non-sterile devices, non-sterile procedures, non-sterile techniques or some combination thereof. Therefore, these 80,000 yearly deaths are not ‘medical errors’ or ‘medical mistakes’.

They are caused by or the result of procedures put into place by committees of hospital staffs that make decisions based on discussions with staffs of other hospitals and medical institutions. However, these general procedures are based primarily on the ludicrous, irresponsible guidelines of the CDC and FDA .

A few examples of what causes patient cross-infection:

Failure to sterilize ALL reusable gynecological devices before reuse is not a “medical error”, it is a conscious decision.

Failure to use single-use lubricants instead of ‘community gel jars’ is not a “medical error”, it is a conscious decision.

Failure to use sterile or sheathed endoscopes is not a “medical error”, it is a conscious decision.

Failure to use individually packaged sterile gloves instead of non-sterile gloves from ‘community glove boxes’ is not a “medical error” , it is a conscious decision.

To be sure we understand the enormity of this:

Every year 80,000 patients die from preventable cross-infections while seeking medical help in hospitals… a horrible, grotesque, agonizing, slow death… that, in most cases, requires even more medical treatment (money) than the original illness.

[Therefore, this “infection problem” is in actuality an income producer for the medical profession of enormous proportions.

Note: This is 20 times the number of deaths – each and every year – as those caused by terrorists on the one-day attack at the World Trade Center .

Humans do indeed become callous, thick-skinned and even apathetic to recurrent, unceasing revulsions to which they are frequently exposed. The loss of our naiveté as a result of the constantly repeated display of violence and sexual explicitness in the print media, on television and in the movies is a good example .

Private Offices

Though certainly shocking, the 80,000 deaths-from-infection only includes the 33.6 million hospital admissions, not the 880 million yearly visits to private clinics and physicians’ offices, where medical errors and infections are virtually impossible to track.

This is because there is virtually no oversight of private doctors and clinics. The public is left to trust the doctors, nurses and other staff to simply ‘do the right thing’ and not cut corners… in the privacy of their unregulated offices.


Because of this total absence of oversight and lack of infection control units, it is safe to assume the risk of cross-infection is significantly greater in private clinics and doctors’ offices than in hospitals.

Once an MD is licensed to practice in a state, there is no oversight of his/her office practices. Therefore, there can be no doubt that the level of standard associated with the examining rooms, the staff, the techniques, the medical devices and the physicians affiliated with private practices and clinics would be found far below those of a highly regulated hospital environment.

Lack of concern for the safety of medical patients becomes clear when one considers the fact that there is an oversight-type office associated with almost every ‘blue collar’ occupation in every county government – plumbers, electricians, builders, et al.

Could our government leaders be telling us that the reverence of their plumbing, electrical and building codes are more important than whether or not irresponsible doctors are cross-infecting patients with HIV, HPV, HCV and other deadly pathogens?

Hospitals are required to meet rigorous guidelines in order to pass accreditation standards set by governing bodies, such as The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Hospitals are also held to high standards by state and federal agencies, and almost all hospitals staff an autonomous Infection Control Unit.

In addition, because hospitals have substantially larger budgets, there are far greater resources available to them for achieving and maintaining considerably higher standards than the offices of private physicians .
Comparing hospital infection control regulations and procedures with those of physicians’ offices and private clinics is certainly an eye-opening view into the enormity of the dangers threatening the private patient’.

However, a causal relationship or ratio between hospital-related infections and all private office-related infections is not suggested. After all, most office visits do not involve highly invasive examinations, in which cross-infections are a much greater risk.

Gynecological Exams

The greater the number of patients of a facility who are infected with one or more diseases, the more likely other patients of that same facility will become cross-infected.

Though most office visits do not involve highly invasive examinations, one large segment does.

More than 110 million of the 880 million yearly visits to private physicians involve unregulated gynecological examinations , and there is as great or greater potential of infection during a gynecological exam than there is during many hospital visits. Combined with the fact that the exam is a highly invasive procedure, a significant percentage of OBGYN patient visits are occasioned by infectious disease complaints.

Infectious disease accounted for 19.0% of the annual visits to private physicians from 1980 through 1996 and visits for females was 27% higher for infectious disease than for males. ,

"40% of new consultations with family doctors are for infectious disease.”

[In addition, it is important to remember that most ‘infectious disease’ hospital admissions are first seen in a private physician’s office.
Using the 6% yearly infection rate from tightly regulated hospitals , we can estimate the number of women infected during visits to their medical provider each year.

Data gathered from the CDC, the AMA and other organizations indicates that, on average, women visit their doctor’s office twice a year. Therefore, we will use half of the 110 million office visits referred to above as our base number.

Applying the 6% hospital infection rate to these 55 million women is more than conservative, in that they are visiting their doctors twice a year, instead of only once, as is the case with most all hospital patients. This, of course gives them a greater ‘opportunity’ of infection.

Nonetheless, we will apply the conservative 6% rate to the 55 million women, which indicates that 3.3 million women are cross-infected each year with an infectious disease… during visits to their private doctor or clinic.

As stated in the Introduction, some of these infections may result in the patient becoming cross-infected with something as serious as a life-threatening pathogen: i.e. HIV, HCV, HBV, CJD, HPV (cervical cancer), something as unnerving and troublesome as a yeast infection or one of a number of other infectious/contagious diseases.

An even more somber consideration is: How many of these 3.3 million women die who contract these diseases, and how many of them ‘pass it on to’ (cross-infect) their mates… or to their children?

Again using the CDC numbers ascribed to hospital patients [4% of the 2 million infected hospital patients die from the disease, this would indicate that these iatrogenic infectious diseases are the direct cause of the deaths of 132,000 U.S. women… every year.

If that many women are being cross-infected every year, if that many women are dying, then why isn’t it in the news? Why haven’t women rallied to voice their concerns and complaints?

The Primary Reason:

Symptoms of these diseases do not manifest until 30 to 60 days - or much longer - after the initial infection.


If patients do question their medical providers as to the possibility of contamination during their office visits, they are scoffed at, told the infection was either already present and lying dormant in their system, or that they were infected after the exam.

They are asked if they have had any sexual activity since the exam or, though it may seem ridiculous, within 20, 30 40 years prior to the exam. [See Chapter V.

The patient is told it would be impossible to contract a disease from a medical instrument. In most cases, the patient has no choice but to accept the word of the doctor. After all, they need her/his help to cure the infection… so it would not be smart to question too much.

In Addition:

Private patient records are treated almost as the private property of the physician or clinic, hospital records are randomly reviewed by JCAHO [see above and other oversight groups.

In order to stop the atrocious, medieval practice of using non-sterilized gynecological medical instruments, specific rules and protocols must be established that require the sterilization of those reusable devices.

A comprehensive process should be devised that will monitor the examining rooms, the staff, the procedures, the instruments and the physicians affiliated with private practices and clinics; otherwise, women will continue to be unknowingly and unnecessarily infected or cross-infected at the hands of their medical providers.

William Parrish, Editor
[email protected]

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 10:41 PM

Surgery saga Posted Image
14 June 2004

A Waikato woman has been battling ACC for more than two years to get compensation after she went into hospital to have a finger repaired and ended up having it amputated.

Putaruru's Renee Anderson cut her ring and little fingers on her right hand in May 1999, and was treated at Whakatane Hospital.

Tendons in the two fingers contracted, leaving them in a hook shape, which she sought help to correct in 2002.

She said a surgeon at Rotorua's Queen Elizabeth Hospital agreed to do surgery to correct the shape of her little finger with three complex procedures, but when she woke up from surgery her little finger had been amputated.

Ms Anderson said she signed a consent form at the hospital, after taking pre-medication for her surgery. She later discovered it had authorised the surgeon to take her finger off.

"He just took my finger off, it was meant to be a three to four hour operation, and I was out in an hour and a half."

She is now appealing ACC's decision declining her claim for medical misadventure.

Court documents filed by ACC said the surgeon did discuss the possibility of amputation with Ms Anderson, and it was added to the surgery consent form which she signed.

They said the surgeon had not seen Ms Anderson for seven months before her surgery date and on inspecting the finger again said amputation was a possibility. The surgeon said Ms Anderson agreed to amputation if it was necessary.

The hospital maintains Ms Anderson was not pre-medicated when she signed the consent form, which included consent for amputation.

Ms Anderson said amputation was not discussed with her and maintains she was pre-medicated when staff got her to sign the consent form.

"My signature on the form is not even the same, that should be enough to show I was out of it."

Ms Anderson complained to the health and disability commissioner about her treatment, but said she was told there was not enough evidence to suggest the surgeon had done anything wrong.

"There is no evidence about him talking to me about amputation through any of my notes.

"On the notes they have put lines through all the procedures and written amputation."

She understood her finger would never be the same but the surgery was expected to make its shape better.,00.html,21...69a6004,00.html

CRUEL CUT: Putaruru woman Renee Anderson wants compensation for her finger that she says was wrongly amputated.

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 10:27 AM

taken off

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 05:35 PM

:wub: Hi everyone ...

Interesting ...

;) Smile ...

#27 User is offline   gaffa09 

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 01:38 PM

:blink: Bump worth looking at again

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