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Author Topic: VA AGAIN  (Read 1597 times)

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Offline dixonbob

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VA AGAIN
« on: August 25, 2009, 09:27:55 AM »

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Former Air Force Reservist Gale Reid received a letter from the Veterans Affairs Department that told her she had Lou Gehrig's disease, and she immediately put herself through a battery of painful, expensive tests. Five days later, the VA said its "diagnosis" was a mistake.
The Montgomery, Ala., resident was among at least 1,200 veterans who received a letter about disability benefits for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, even though they hadn't been diagnosed with the illness, according to the National Gulf War Resource Center. Veterans were initially suspicious of the letters, but still went through the agony not knowing exactly whether they had the fatal disease, which typically kills people within five years.
FOUND the ignore button. Ha Ha

Offline Irish

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Re: VA AGAIN
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2009, 01:43:34 PM »
And of course we al know that civilian hospitals, doctors and assorted medical groups nevere, ever make a mistake........especially if they are in or from texas
 

Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: VA AGAIN
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2009, 02:58:36 PM »
Seems like the VA makes huge mistakes that affect thousands of people at a time though.  Anyone can get misdiagnosed from their doctor for something, but to send out mass mailings informing 1,200 people all at the same time??  I don't know that I've ever heard of something like that happening on the civilian side...
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. Cicero - 55 BC, Rome

Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: VA AGAIN
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 03:25:56 PM »
Military.com has a story on this. It sounds like a nightmare.

Yes, civilian hospitals screw up, too -- but when a single agency is responsible for the care of hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, the scale of the mistakes can be horribly multiplied.

Yes, we all know that big companies make major mistakes too. However, in private business, people responsible for major mistakes usually get punished, and people responsible for peak performance usually get promoted. I think we all know that an organization like the federal government doesn't have the capitalist incentives to make that happpen consistently.

Even more importantly, the small rewards and small penalties that create an incentive for a culture of hard work and pride in one's own product often are not present in the civil service system. Apart from highly unusual things like the DoD's post-Cold War reduction-in-force, a person who puts in a decent day's work and doesn't stand out as particularly good or bad can pretty much be assured of lifetime employment, at least by comparison to what's going on in the private sector.

That's not saying there aren't lots of good people in the VA, ranging from doctors and nurses to clerks and custodians, who work hard and care about what's best for their patients. It's simply to say that the government is never going to be as efficient as the private sector, and the larger the unit of government, the worse the problems can get.
Darrell Todd Maurina
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Offline What_The?

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Re: VA AGAIN
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2009, 05:02:19 PM »
Military.com has a story on this. It sounds like a nightmare.

Yes, civilian hospitals screw up, too -- but when a single agency is responsible for the care of hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, the scale of the mistakes can be horribly multiplied.

Yes, we all know that big companies make major mistakes too. However, in private business, people responsible for major mistakes usually get punished, and people responsible for peak performance usually get promoted. I think we all know that an organization like the federal government doesn't have the capitalist incentives to make that happpen consistently.

Even more importantly, the small rewards and small penalties that create an incentive for a culture of hard work and pride in one's own product often are not present in the civil service system. Apart from highly unusual things like the DoD's post-Cold War reduction-in-force, a person who puts in a decent day's work and doesn't stand out as particularly good or bad can pretty much be assured of lifetime employment, at least by comparison to what's going on in the private sector.

That's not saying there aren't lots of good people in the VA, ranging from doctors and nurses to clerks and custodians, who work hard and care about what's best for their patients. It's simply to say that the government is never going to be as efficient as the private sector, and the larger the unit of government, the worse the problems can get.


1200 scared vs. 40,000 potentially infected.

Yeah, the private sector would never screw up and do things so badly.

So you can die.

For profit.


Hepatitis C and other blood borne diseases now threaten thousands of people in Nevada, thanks to the unsafe way anesthesia was administered at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.  At least six people who received treatment at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada have already tested positive for Hepatitis C, but health officials in the state have urged another 40,000 to be tested for the virus, as well as HIV.

Hepatitis C is a blood disorder that is  transmitted through blood-to-blood contact. Hepatitis C for the most part is asymptomatic and often leads to chronic, and long-term infection resulting in approximately 70% of those infected developing liver disease.  Hepatitis C is a risk factor for liver cancer and can lead to the need for a liver transplant. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, and is  transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, including blood-to-blood contact. 

The Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada Health has been under investigation since early January, after health officials learned of three people who had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C.   According to the Southern Nevada Health District, a total of  six people contracted Hepatitis C after being treated at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.  Five of them were treated the same day in late September; the sixth is believed to have been infected in July, the district said. The Southern Nevada Health District investigation
revealed that “unsafe injection practices related to the administration of anesthesia medication might have exposed patients to the blood of other patients,” the statement said.

The Hepatitis C virus may have been spread when clinic staff reused syringes and used a single dose of anesthesia medication on multiple patients, the district said. A syringe would become contaminated by the backflow of blood when patients with a blood-borne disease were injected with medication, health officials said. That syringe, in turn, would be reused to withdraw medication from a different vial. That vial could become contaminated and result in infection.

The Southern Nevada Health District said that the unsafe practices had been in place for several years at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada,  and may have put others at risk. About 40,000 patients who received injections of anesthesia at the clinic will be told of the potential exposure in letters arriving next week.  Anyone who received anesthesia at the clinic from March 2004 to Jan. 11 should be tested for the virus, along with Hepatitis B and HIV. The Southern Nevada Health Districts patient notification will be the largest of its kind in the country.

This is not the first time an outbreak of Hepatitis was blamed on medical practitioners who reused syringes or reused multidose vials of anesthesia on more than one patient. 

Late last year, the New York State Department of Health warned thousands of people treated by Long Island anesthesiologist Harvey Finkelstein that they were at risk for Hepatitis C, B and HIV. Finkelstein also was known to reuse syringes. At least one person is known to have contracted Hepatitis C as a result of Finkelstein’s unsanitary practices, and another six patients tested positive for the disease, although it is not absolutely certain that the virus was the result of Finkelstein’s treatment.  Another six tested positive for Hepatitis B.
"There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side." - Kurt Vonnegut

Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: VA AGAIN
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2009, 11:56:57 PM »
1200 scared vs. 40,000 potentially infected.
Yeah, the private sector would never screw up and do things so badly.

I never said that. Private companies screw up too, and some of them are big-time screwups. The market usually punishes the companies for major screwups that come to public attention, and in most cases, profit motives cause owners or executives to insist on holding subordinates accountable for even fairly minor screwups when they cost the companies money.

Some things simply cannot be run on the basis of a free market. Government has a role in the world, especially in national defense: private armies went out with the Middle Ages and privateering basically ended in the early 1800s, and while mercenaries still exist, most of us don't want to see mercenaries gain anywhere close to the type of power they had during the Renaissance. But we need to recognize that when neither profit, patriotism nor altruism are present as a motive for self-improvement, fear of punishment is the only remaining motivator, and that isn't exactly as easy to administer in the civil service system as it is in private business.
Darrell Todd Maurina
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http://www.pulaskicountyweb.com
Cell: (573) 433.6733 * FAX: (573) 774-2349
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