Facebook Page Gathers Stories of Medical Harm

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , May 24, 2012

By my count, membership in the fledgling Patient Harm Community is growing by about 100 a day as word gets out.

In recent days, for example, postings included these issues:

  • A nurse in Phoenix claimed she was fired by her hospital, and now faces nursing board charges, for informing a patient about risks of upcoming surgery and the benefits of hospice.
  • An infection prevention nurse in California, formerly a hospital inspector with the state Department of Public Health, told of undergoing a spinal disc procedure with a flawed protein material she was never informed about by her surgeon, resulting in multiple subsequent surgeries.
  • A warning from an employee at the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for patients to not take antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (like Prilosec or Prevacid) at the same time because of links to clostridium difficile infections.

Allen says ProPublica's social media experts looked around the country to find a similar online forum but without success.

This isn't like Yelp or Angie's List, where unhappy patients can anonymously pile on about a rude receptionist. "These are peoples' real identities, as far as we can tell, so if they say something to the group, their name is behind it. There's a little bit more accountability," Allen says.

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2 comments on "Facebook Page Gathers Stories of Medical Harm"

Johneric Pate (5/29/2012 at 2:29 PM)
I agree with Joleen's comment.Myself and thousands of other patients have been harmed by "known" faulty plastic "temporary" pancreas and bile duct stents.These stents were proven to kill both dogs and pigs during FDA clinical trials.Why then use them in people?FDAclinicaltrials.gov has also done animal trials on biodegradeable pancreas/bile duct stents because"plastic stents have to be removed in a second ERCP."All research shows that after a 1st or 2nd stenting the patient will need surgery to correct the problem.I have had 6 ERCP's and NO surgery yet even with over 5 referrals saying that i need surgery to correct the problem.I was informed by many doctors/surgeon's that i need to leave the country to have surgery.Why leave to another country(something in which i can not afford)when the stent [INVALID]ions were here in the U.S.?The answer lies somewhere in between the lobbyist,speialist(doctors)who take kick backs from these faulty stents,and people in congress who take money form lobbyist for campaign incentives.The 510(k)process is a per(fact)example of this.As i die slowly because my liver and kidney's are failing from these faulty stents(in which a liver surgeon informed me that i never needed to begin with)thousands of other patients will meet their demise until something is done to correct the corruption.

Joleen Chambers (5/25/2012 at 9:45 AM)
It is easy for a consumer to pick out a good vacuum cleaner thanks to Consumer Reports-not so- for implanted medical devices! The IOM (Institute of Medicine) stated 7/29/11 that the FDA 510(k)method of clearing implanted medical devices (ICD's, surgical mesh, stents, hips, knees) is fatally flawed and should be scrapped. Yet the practice continues because the industry is so profitable and politically powerful. Patient harm (as a result of failed devices) in it's wake is fueled by poor federal public policy that does not require UDI (unique device identifiers) or post-market follow-up.




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