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June 30th, 2010
09:12 AM ET

Tips for surviving a hospital stay

A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to dangerous viruses like hepatitis and HIV.

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work. So far, there have been no reports of illness.

As many as 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as a result of medical errors, according to an Institute of Medicine report. Some 99,000 people die each year from infections acquired in the hospital, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So what can you do to protect yourself in the hospital? Click here for some Empowered Patient tips.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Butch from Southgate

    When these things happen, we can not understand how such shoddy behavior isn't monitored by staff. It's not monitored because there is no real reason to monitor it. If we kill a few thousand patients, no big deal ...there are thousands more standing in the wings wating for shoddy care.

    When we make such behavior criminal, then we will get the kind of monitoring we deserve. Doc's just don't give a rats keester wether or not you live. They do care if you pay their bill however šŸ™‚

    June 30, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  2. Dan

    The best way to stay out of the hospital is:
    1) Eat Healthy;
    2) Exercise regularly;
    3) Don't Drink;
    4) Don't Smoke.

    June 30, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  3. Gerald W. Kenney

    There is no accountability at the VA, because there is no responsibility.
    In 2007, the VA gave me MRSA as an inpatient. It was so bad that I now have permanent lung damage. They also cut my 11 cranial nerve when conducting a simple explorotory neck surgery. However, because I was so close to death, they decided not to record that incident in my surgical report. Now they are saying it was just a surgical mishap, and those things happen. They neglected to admit they had cut my nerve because they thought I was going to die, so why let anyone know. Now trying to file a claim is like challenging the United States of America. Good luck. The VA is built on what has come
    to be known as the four D's of a Veterans Service, DENY, DELAY, DISCOURAGE, until DEATH. please write me back. I would love to give you my story. Thank you. Jerry Kenney

    June 30, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  4. Rick

    Dear Kyra, I just finished watching your reprot this morning on VA scheduling. I can deffinately attest to that. The VA outpatient clinic where I now go in Grand Rapids MI does just that. You can go there one day and the place is packed. You can go the very next day and there is no one there. I make my appointmentments for the same time each visit and I have repeatedly found this to be true. A friend of mine recently had an appointment to have his eyes checked. He waited 45 minutes and is now told he will have to wait two months to get his new glasses. I was with him on that day and while I was waiting I observed my own doctor having several others in her office just clowning around while the veterans were waiting to be seen. The blood clinic at this VA is simply terrible. They have two nurses working it and almost always one of them is somewhere else. You can wait well over an hour to have simple blood work done. And on the days when I go and there is no one there all of the staff is just sitting there doing nothing. It would seem to me that a general overhaul of this place is in order. If you could possible provide me with an email contact for the gentleman who wrote that memo I would love to contact him myself and tell him what I see. Keep up the good work rick

    July 2, 2010 at 9:23 am |