On November 22, 2007 my mother was rushed to the ER of a Pennsylvania hospital where she was diagnosed with a severe bacterial infection caused by Clostridium Difficile. She had been exhibiting symptoms of this infection for several days prior, which was left untreated. Her symptoms included persistent diarrhea, a high fever and abnormally high white blood cell count. After being diagnosed with this infection it was suggested that she undergo emergency surgery to remove the â€œinfected and diseasedâ€ parts of her colon. It was explained to us that it was her only chance of survival. She underwent surgery the next morning. Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful in controlling the spread of the infection, as that it had infected other parts of her body. Sadly, she died from this infection the early morning of November 24, 2007.
State Disclosure Reports
- PA: 2010 Health care associated infections in hospitals
- Cardiac Surgery in Pennsylvania 2008-2009
- Pennsylvania 2009 Report: Healthcare-Associated Infections
- PA 2008 Report: Healthcare-associated Infections
- Pennsylvania Hospital-acquired Infections-aggregate
- Pennsylvania Hospital-acquired Infections (2006)
- PA Hospital Performance Report 2008
- PA: Hospital Performance Reports 1987-2008
- Pennsylvania: Hospital acquired infections in 2006 (4/08)
- Pennsylvania: Hospital infections (7/05)
Consumers Union Documents
- State Medical Error Report Links
Reports from the states with laws requiring public reporting of medical errors.
- State Hospital Infection Public Reporting Laws
Summary of state laws hospital infection reporting laws.
- Requiring Drug Companies to Disclose Marketing Expenditures to Physicians
Drug marketing emphasizes the latest and most expensive drugs even though these drugs may not be the best in their category according to the medical evidence.
Consumers Union News Releases
- MRSA screening bill pushed in Congress
CU endorses bills in Congress to screen patients for MRSA and report infection rates to public
- Reporting infections improves patient safety
New Pennsylvania study shows 8 percent drop in hospital acquired infections between 2006 and 2007.
- U.S. Congressman dies following surgical error, infection
Our leaders in Congress experience medical harm, too. On Monday, Politico reported that Pennsylvania U.S. Congressman John Murtha had died as a result of complications from recent gallbladder removal surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
- RFO Encounters in Pennsylvania
You’ve heard of UFOs but have you heard of RFOs? 194 Pennsylvanians could tell you about their RFO encounter last year – that’s how many cases of “retained foreign objects” were reported to that state’s Patient Safety Authority in 2008.
- House health reform bill tackles hospital infections
Our message caught on! A coalition of House Democrats have included public reporting of hospital-acquired infections in their reform bill (HR 3200), and reducing payment to hospitals that aren’t doing enough to prevent infections.
- MRSA takes its toll on father and son
Following a bike accident, Jimmy Jr. needed knee surgery hoping to be strong enough to play high school football. Instead he acquired MRSA…
- Confused about Tuesday’s impact on your state?
A friend of mine in Pennsylvania just asked me how to find out how some ballot initiatives did in her state and I told her about State Line.
- Med schools coaching students on how to handle drug reps effectively
Some med schools now are starting up projects for their students to help them challenge drug company sales reps when they attempt to wine and dine docs.
- Another prestigious institution bans Pharma swag
In what the NY Times calls “a growing movement among academic institutions,” Stanford University Medical Center will ban gifts — even small ones like pens — from pharma sales reps to physicians who work there.
- ‘Redo’ joint replacement surgeries on rise in Western Pa. Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Sunday November 25, 2012)
- Pennsylvania woman to address FDA panel on husband's hip-replacement recall Source: The Philly Inquirer (Wednesday June 27, 2012)
Pennsylvania woman travels to DC to share her husband’s story about problems with his recalled metal on metal hip.
- Federal suit claims Hamot, heart doctors defrauded Medicare Source: Erie Times-News (Sunday January 22, 2012)
Heart doctors put heart stents into patients who didn’t need them.
- 72 suits could be filed against Excela Source: Tribune-Review (Thursday July 21, 2011)
So far, lawsuits have been filed on behalf of 34 patients who claimed that in 2009 and 2010 doctors implanted stents, tiny mesh tubes placed into an artery to ease blood flow. Those procedures were not necessary, according to the court filings.
- Health council says major heart surgery safer in Pennsylvania Source: Patriot News (Thursday May 19, 2011)
The Pennsylvania Cost Containment Council has released a report on heart surgeries. The report includes number of deaths, infections, readmissions and other complications. It can be found at www.phc4.org.
- Hospitals: Cuts jeopardize improvements Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Wednesday May 25, 2011)
Pennsylvania hospitals have more work to do until they reach zero infections. Read the PA hospital association report here.
- Pa. moves to revoke license of facility where hidden camera captured alleged abuse of patient Source: Washington Post (Friday April 29, 2011)
A suburban Philadelphia elder-care facility where a hidden camera allegedly captured aides assaulting and mocking a half-naked dementia patient may be forced to shut down after state regulators said Friday that their investigation uncovered violations that demonstrate gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct.
- Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Issues Annual Report for 2010 Source: Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (Thursday April 28, 2011)
The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority issued its 2010 Annual Report highlighting its Patient Safety Liaison (PSL) program and educational activities as well as reductions in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in hospitals and nursing homes.
- Hospital infection rate down since 2006 Source: Pittsburgh Business Times (Friday February 25, 2011)
People who picked up an infection during a hospital stay in Pennsylvania in 2009 were more than five times as likely to die than those who did not, according to a new report.
- Hospital-acquired germs cause thousands of re-admissions Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Friday February 25, 2011)
Hospital-acquired germs may have contributed to several thousand rehospitalizations in Pennsylvania, according to a health care review agency.
Research and Reports
- Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Provides Analysis and Data-Driven Prevention Strategies to Reduce Central-Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI)
Patient safety information from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory on prevention strategies for reducing and/or eliminating central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) based on 2010 data submitted by PA hospitals.
- What to Do if You Have a Concern About the Quality of Care from a Pennsylvania Doctor
This tip sheet explains steps you can take in your doctor’s office to deal with your concerns about quality. It also tells you how to contact places that regulate or oversee doctors.
- What To Do If You Have a Concern About Quality in a Pennsylvania Nursing Home
This tip sheet explains steps you can take within the nursing home to deal with your concerns about quality of care. It tells you how to contact places that regulate or oversee nursing homes.
- What to Do if You Have a Concern about Quality in a Pennsylvania Hospital
This tip sheet explains steps you can take within the hospital to deal with your concerns about quality of care. It tells you how to contact the places that regulate or oversee hospitals.
- Demonstrating Return on Investment for Infection Prevention and Control
The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority has produced a report outlining the need for investment in infection prevention.
- What You Need to Know Before Having an MRI Scan
The magnetic field of the MRI scanner may exert forces on certain implanted objects that are susceptible to the effects of the magnetic field, potentially causing the object to move within the body, which could result in serious harm. Learn how you can help protect yourself.
- What You Can Do to Prevent Wrong-Site Surgery
Know what steps you can take to prevent a wrong-site surgery from happening to you or a loved one.
- Preventing the Retention of Foreign Objects during Interventional Radiology Procedures
Patient injury reports indicate that it is important to use radiopaque sponges during any IR procedure in order to prevent the retention of foreign objects following IR procedures.
- Safety in the MR Environment: MR Screening Practices
In 2008, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority received approximately 150 reports describing events in which the magnetic resonance (MR) clinical screening process was inadequate and, in some cases, erroneously permitted patients with implanted pacemakers and other ferromagnetic objects into the MRI scanner room.
- Medication Errors Occurring in the Radiologic Services Department
Nearly 1,000 event reports submitted to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority specifically mentioned medication errors that occurred in care areas providing radiologic services.