Friday, July 18, 2008


Have you all seen the latest article from CNN titled "Don't Become the Victim of a Surgical Error"? The article contains some good information, and, as patients and families, we should follow the steps listed.

But (and you knew there would be a but), the hair on the back of my neck always stands up when I read something like this. In the article, it does refer to the fact that these steps lessen the chance of a medical error happening. I feel, though, the story implies that if we follow a few simple steps, we can control our own medical outcomes. I did all those things prior to my surgery 9 years ago, and there was still an anesthesia complication that nearly took my life (see Linda's Story).

This past year, when I finally got my ankle replacement, I ended up with a post-op infection that I believe could have been avoided, but the systems in place made it impossible for that to happen. I ended up with two more hospitalizations, confined to bed with my foot elevated for three months, and on IV antibiotics for 7 weeks. I tried to advocate for myself, but the pharmacy and my insurance company made it impossible. With both experiences, I was left with the woulda, coulda, shoulda feelings that are quite normal after these types of events.

Is this a set up for people to think that if they do all the right things, they will be safe? So, I ask you, what do you think of the article?


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Over the past six years on behalf of MITSS, I have had the great fortune of travelling the country and abroad. I have spoken at conferences and forums, large and small, speaking with patients, family members, and clinicians. It seems that everyone has a story. Each time I speak with someone who has been affected by a medically induced trauma, I not only relate on a truly personal level, but it has served to strengthen my commitment and resolve to change the systems which fail each of us every day.

There can be nothing more powerful than a personal story, and we have encouraged anyone affected by an adverse event to share their experience with us on our website. There have been some very moving entries recently added, and we invite you to take a look at our patient and family story page. Also, if you’d like to share your own story, please feel free. By sharing your personal experience, you may be helping someone out there to feel less isolated and alone.



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