Never Walk Alone!

If airline self-inflicted errors matched hospital self-inflicted errors, we'd need a special daily newspaper section to record the crashes and associated obits. (And there's no hyperbole in that last remark.) Still, we do get sick—and catastrophic error rate notwithstanding, we must necessarily subject ourselves to these health"care" danger zones. But, if there is any possible way at all—never walk [into a hospital] alone.

Melinda Beck writes the "Health Journal" column in the Wall Street Journal. Her page D1, 28 October column, "Bedside Manner: Advocating For a Relative in the Hospital," begins, "Don't go to the hospital alone if you can possibly help it." She begins with an, alas, garden variety story of a friend in a hospital for hip surgery following an accident. Her friend's daughter was the one "who noticed that she was having an adverse reaction to a pain medication." And it was her daughter who recognized that her mom's "IV drip had pulled out of a vein and was pumping her arm full of fluid." And it was her daughter who observed that "the blood-sugar test she was about to be given was meant for her roommate instead." The hospital, not to my surprise, was described as "one of the best hospitals in the country."

[P.S. I admit this stuff pisses me off. Really, really pisses me off.]

At any rate, I commend the article to your attention, especially the suggestions with which Ms Beck concludes. If I were offering one of my "success tips," the only thing I can think of is the ever-helpful "Don't get sick." (And if you do, "Bring a friend.")