By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© November 2018, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
At times, one needs to go into the hospital. Indeed, some surgery is amazing. However, hospitals are not safe places to go. This article can help you to make your hospital visit safer.
I. THE PROBLEMS WITH HOSPITALS
Today, 772,000 people contract an infection in the hospital every year. About 75,000 people die each year from these infections.
These infections come from poorly sterilized reusable equipment, and sometimes from nurses and doctors not washing their hands enough before touching equipment or touching you. They can come from other breaches of cleanliness. In addition, many germs are floating around hospitals due to the number of sick people there, and so this, itself, is a problem.
What is worse is that overuse of antibiotics has spawned a host of antibiotic-resistant germs, and these are not easily killed.
MISTAKES INVOLVING DRUGS AND PROCEDURES
All hospitals make an effort to reduce errors, oversights and other mistakes involving medication. However, errors can and do occur. The problems are:
1. Drug medicine, by nature, is dangerous. An overdose of some drugs easily can kill a person, especially one weakened by an illness. This is very different from nutritional therapy, for example. It is one reason I much prefer nutritional therapy.
2. Many nurses work 12-hour shifts, which is too long for anyone. In addition, many of them do not eat well and are not in good health. Both these facts increase the chances of mistakes.
3. Many doctors also work long hours, and do not eat well and are not in good health. This also increases the chances for errors.
This is the use of tests, procedures and even drugs and operations solely to satisfy the hospital or doctorŐs legal team. In other words, they are not medically necessary, but they are used or done to protect the doctor or hospital from possible lawsuits in the future.
Defensive medicine is now integrated into modern medical care. Unless you are an expert, you probably will never be able to figure it all out. Long gone are the days when the doctor is responsible mainly to you, and to no one else. Now, they must live by the dictates of their medical boards, their attorneys, their hospital rules, and perhaps rules set up by insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid.
One can argue that these rules are set up to protect the patients. However, anything that gets in the way of the doctorŐs direct responsibility to his patient tends to reduce, not enhance the quality of care. Too often the rules are to reduce hospital or insurance company costs, legally protect them and not you, and are set up for their convenience, not yours.
This is important because the more tests, the more x-rays, the more drugs and procedures that you must go through, the more likely you are to experience a mistake, catch an infection, or suffer in some other way.
II. WHAT TO DO
This is by far the best answer. If possible, stay out of hospitals. The best way to do this that I know of is to take excellent care of your health with a development program. In this way, you can avoid many diseases, operations and the need for procedures such as colonoscopies. This is by far the best answer to the problems of hospitals today.
STAY IN CHARGE
You are in charge when you enter a hospital. But you must exercise this right. Do not just do what you are told. Ask questions! Then ask more questions, especially before proceeding with any procedure or operation. Most people do not realize this.
HAVE AN ADVOCATE WITH YOU
An advocate is a friend or family member, usually, who visits the hospital when you are there and checks things. They check the chart, the medication, the IV bottles, and everything to do with your case. That is their job.
If you donŐt have a friend or family member to be your advocate, there may be someone you can hire to be your advocate.
CHECK THE SAFETY RECORD OF YOUR HOSPITAL BEFORE ENTERING
Some hospitals are much safer than others. In the References below is a website where you can check the safety of various hospitals.
AN EXCELLENT BOOK
A book on this subject is Hospitals And Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide To A Shorter, Safer Hospital Stay. This book contains many tips about hospitals that can be most helpful.
OTHER SUGGESTIONS THAT WOULD MAKE HOSPITALS SAFER AND BETTER
1. Light and fresh air. The older Florence Nightengale hospital design was actually cleaner than todayŐs hospitals because there were many large windows that brought in a lot of sunlight. The ultraviolet rays kill a lot of germs.
TodayŐs hospitals often have smaller windows, and they often donŐt open and may be tinted. This saves on heating bills, but the small windows brings in much less light, and no fresh air.
2. Equipment design. Modern electrical equipment is common in hospitals and difficult to keep clean. We believe there could be better designs for this equipment that would make it easier to keep it clean. For example, it should be possible to design the equipment so it can simply be sprayed with hydrogen peroxide and wiped down without harming the electrical apparatus.
3. Clothing. Doctors, nurses and other who work in hospitals used to wear only white clothing. This is very helpful because one can see dirt, blood, saliva and other things most easily on white clothing.
Now nurses and others are allowed to wear scrub suits of any color, including black. For cleanliness, hospitals should return to the policy of requiring white scrub and other outfits.
4. Food. The food served at most hospitals is not as good as it could be. They do not serve enough cooked vegetables and they include plenty of poor quality food such as refined white flour, white rice, sugary desserts and more.
5. Nursing and doctor schedules. As mentioned above, some hospitals have changed to 10 or 12-hour shifts for nurses and perhaps other hospital personnel. While some like this, we think this is quite unhealthy and leads to more hospital errors.