Interesting Stuff

Nurse Confessions

Politico Magazine has a fascinating article that shines a light on the not often discussed realities of health care in America.  The article, billed as a nurse’s confessions, covers various surprising facts about heath case.

The most newsworthy and eye poping is a right of passage that happens every year in hospitals all across the United States:

Every year in teaching hospitals at the start of July, medical students become interns, interns become residents and each successive class of residents moves up a level. These new doctors are immediately thrust into direct patient care.

This upheaval causes what health care workers call “The July Effect” in the United States and “August Killing Season” in the United Kingdom (where the shift happens in August). The changeover harms patient care, increasing medical errors, medication mistakes and the length of hospital stays. In July, U.S. death rates in these hospitals surge between 8 and 34 percent—a total of between 1,500 and 2,750 deaths. UC-San Diego researchers found that fatal medication errors “spike by 10 percent in July and in no other month.”

So avoid being hospitalized in July if at all possible.


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