After taking a bad fall in January 1999, Alice Buehring required surgery to replace the humeral head in her right shoulder. Unfortunately, her recovery was painful and mostly unsuccessful. By May 1999, she discovered why. It turned out that Alice developed a Pseudomonas A infection in the surgical site, which was fast becoming septic. She spent the next week in the hospital on IV antibiotics to treat the infection. She was discharged to continue her IV treatments at home for another six weeks followed by oral antibiotics for another six weeks.
Consumers Union Documents
- State Hospital Infection Public Reporting Laws
Summary of state laws hospital infection reporting laws.
- Mandatory public clinical drug trial registry needed to help ensure prescription drug safety, IOM panel told
Consumers Union statement for today’s public hearing
- Stay safe in the hospital
The January issue of Consumer Reports on Health newsletter tells patients and their relatives how to get the best care and prevent hospital infections and medication errors.
Consumers Union News Releases
- Health Care Reform Law Poised to Make Health Care Safer
New Law Includes Important Patient Safety Provisions That Will Save Lives and Health Care Dollars
- MRSA screening bill pushed in Congress
CU endorses bills in Congress to screen patients for MRSA and report infection rates to public
- CU Report: U.S. Health Care System Fails To Protect Patients From Deadly Medical Errors
Consumers Union Assesses Lack of Progress Ten Years After Institute of Medicine Found Up To 98,000 Die From Preventable Errors
- Human face on weak prescription safety laws
Today, Patricia Slingo appears in a full page USA Today advertisement as part of our national push to finally pass strong drug safety reform.
- Drug safety board needs real independence, authority
Proposed oversight board symbolic step; drug safety ensured through clinical trials and Independent Drug Safety Office laws
- Former skeptic believes in preventing hospital infections
A few years ago, Dr. Manoj Jain was skeptical of hospital infection reduction—thinking hospital infections were the norm for ICU patients
- MRSA series: Culture of Resistance
The Seattle Times’ new three-part series on MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant superbug that’s killing thousands of hospital patients every year made me want to wash my hands over and over like Lady Macbeth.
- You Score Higher Marks than Doctors
According to new FDA data, consumers like you make up the majority of drug adverse event reports submitted, replacing physicians.
- Sick in the USA
Our bodies get sick sometimes. But if we look at the American health care system as a living body itself, we’re waiting in the ER. (A review of PBS’s Frontline film “Sick Around the World”)
- Common sense shouldn’t take two years – unless it’s the FDA
Should it really take two years to study a common-sense proposal to make drug ads better for consumers? Not unless it’s the Food and Drug Administration, which has taken foot-dragging to new heights
- Some Hospitals Provide Rxs for Error, Dissatisfaction
You may remember Dennis Quaid from The Parent Trap but nowadays he’s speaking out against medical errors…
- Antidepressant meta-study sheds light, or dark, depending
A really long time ago, Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
- Drugmakers in hot water with NY Attorney General
A newly released study indicates that Vytorin, an expensive new cholesterol drug, is no more effective than an older drug Zocor. Although the drug makers got these results in April 2006, they failed to release them to doctors and the public–meanwhile earning $5 billion in revenue from sales of this drug last year. Sadly, we’re not shocked.
- Recap of Medicare Part D in 2007
Open enrollment for your prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D ends today. Over 1,800 private insurance plans to choose from, but they all cost too much, and the costs keep climbing.
- Discount drug cards underscore need for a national solution
Some cities and counties are trying to fight high prescription drug costs, but we really need Congress to act.
- NPR: Patients, Consumer Advocates Question Hip Implant Settlement Source: NPR (Tuesday January 7, 2014)
NPR’s Rob Stein interviews CU’s Safe Patient Project and CU story sharer, Mary Schrag of Washington state, about a recent hip settlement that does nothing to protect future patients from harm due to defective implants.
- Seattle Times video: How to make millions off a drug for a rare disease Source: Seattle Times (Friday January 3, 2014)
Seattle Times investigation of how drug companies are making millions by marketing off label uses.
- How a drug for few patients was turned into $81 million in sales Source: Seattle Times (Saturday November 9, 2013)
“Orphan drugs, approved for rare diseases, can become big sellers. One Seattle biotech’s drug provides a case study in how the chase for profits can turn into accusations of unlawful marketing.”
- Seattle Times Investigation: Pharma's Windfalls Source: Seattle Times (Friday January 3, 2014)
Seattle Times series on marketing of orphan drugs for off label use
- How Safe is Your Hospital in Washington Source: KUOW.org (Thursday January 23, 2014)
Local NPR station in Seattle has posted an interactive maps, tables and charts of hospital performance measures.
- How A Recalled Medical Device Killed A Vet At Seattle's VA Hospital Source: KUOW (Thursday December 5, 2013)
Seattle jazz musician Eddie Creed dies at a VA hospital after receiving a lethal morphine overdose from a recalled medical device.
- Local plastic surgeon calls syringe warning "inaccurate” Source: KREM (Tuesday October 1, 2013)
KREM reports: “A licensing inspection at the Aesthetic Plastic Surgical Center found that staff had been improperly using syringes and drug vials and putting patients at risk of infection according to health officials.”
- Sponges, Tools And More Left Inside Washington Hospital Patients Source: KUOW (Thursday August 1, 2013)
KUOW reports: “About 30 times a year, a hospital in Washington state leaves a sponge or surgical instrument inside one of its patients. The accident known as a “retained foreign object” is one of the state’s most commonly reported medical mistakes.”
- Drs. Yanling Yu and Rex Johnson share their family's medical harm story with University of Washington Source: University of Washington (Sunday June 30, 2013)
Washington Advocates for Patient Safety members, Yanling Yu and Rex Johnson, shared their family’s medical harm story with a University of Washington panel of over 100 future health professionals so they could learn how to keep patients safe through patient-centered care and shared-decision making.
- Law to keep hospitals reporting infections Source: Seattle Times (Tuesday May 21, 2013)
“Hospitals must continue reporting infections from hip- and knee-replacement procedures and cardiac surgery, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday, despite opposition by hospitals and state health officials.”