Saturday, October 6, 2007

Another Story Makes the News

Another story makes it to the news. A Long Island woman had a double mastectomy and didn’t need it. She never did have cancer the article in Long Island Newsday reports.

The story doesn’t shock me. The fact that it made the news - does. Why, we often wonder do some stories make the news and some don’t? If they all did, surely the country would be in more of an uproar about the problems with safe, quality care than it is right now. Newsday tracked down another woman also suffered similar fate. She went through unnecessary radiation. Maybe if her story became public this may not have happened another time. No one knows how many more similar life altering experiences are out there.

We read these articles and find them sad and even anger us but then, we leave the newspaper behind. This Long Island woman can’t just change the channel and turn off the news about what happened. Like millions of others who suffer from medical errors, she will live with it every day. From the moment she wakes up in the morning until the moment she goes to sleep at night she is forced to live with what someone else did to her – someone who works in the same system we all trust.

Because the damage done to her, what about her future doctor appointments; her test results for herself or her family? Will she ever trust the system again? The emotional mess that this will cause her won’t ever be reported because in just a few weeks, it will be old news.

Medical errors seem sporadic because that is the way they are reported. If we allowed all those who suffered to speak out, and listed the names of all the dead, it would fill volumes.

And let’s not forget that the doctors, hospitals and even the lab is being paid for these services. I’m sure no one offered her a refund or her insurance company a refund and chances are, her insurance company wouldn’t ask for one. So, now there is one woman out there who did not get her lab results in a timely manner and was walking around with breast cancer and didn’t know it and another woman who had multiple surgeries and didn’t need it. If you want to know where the real drain is on our healthcare system-there it is!

Read the Newsday article here:,0,309488.story

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