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Socialized Medicine Caused Richardson's Life?!?!?

Posted by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 2:20 PM
  • 8 Replies

 

Did Socialized Medicine have a hand in costing Natasha Richardson Her Life?

2009 March 24
by Jim Blazsik

Natasha Richardson's death is hard to accept. Losing your life simply from a fall, just doesn't feel right to us. We want to think there is more to the story, something that would bring some sense to the events that cost Natasha her life.

Could Socialized Medicine have a part in this story, and have a hand in costing Natasha Richardson Her Life? Cory Franklin, who is a physician, walks through the steps of Natasha's tragic story, comparing the care she received in Canada, and the care she would have received in the U.S.

CANADACARE MAY HAVE KILLED NATASHA
New York Post
By Cory Franklin

COULD actress Natasha Richardson's tragic death have been prevented if her skiing accident had occurred in America rather than Canada?

Canadian health care de-emphasizes widespread dissemination of technology like CT scanners and quick access to specialists like neurosurgeons. While all the facts of Richardson's medical care haven't been released, enough is known to pose questions with profound implications.

Richardson died of an epidural hematoma - a bleeding artery between the skull and brain that compresses and ultimately causes fatal brain damage via pressure buildup. With prompt diagnosis by CT scan, and surgery to drain the blood, most patients survive.

Could Richardson have received this care? Where it happened in Canada, no. In many US resorts, yes.

 

Between noon and 1 p.m., Richardson sustained what appeared to be a trivial head injury while skiing at Mt. Tremblant in Quebec. Within minutes, she was offered medical assistance but declined to be seen by paramedics.

But this delay is common in the early stages of epidural hematoma when patients have few symptoms - and there is reason to believe her case wasn't beyond hope at that point.

About three hours after the accident, the actress was taken to Centre Hospitalier Laurentien, in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, 25 miles from the resort. Hospital spokesman Alain Paquette said she was conscious upon reaching the hospital about 4 p.m.

The initial paramedic assessment, travel time to the hospital and time she spent there was nearly two hours - the crucial interval in this case. Survival rates for patients with epidural hematomas, conscious on arrival to a hospital, are good.

Richardson's evaluation required an immediate CT scan for diagnosis - followed by either a complete removal of accumulated blood by a neurosurgeon or a procedure by a trauma surgeon or emergency physician to relieve the pressure and allow her to be transported.

But Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts is a town of 9,000 people. Its hospital doesn't have specialized neurology or trauma services. It hasn't been reported whether the hospital has a CT scanner, but CT scanners are less common in Canada.

Compounding the problem, Quebec has no helicopter services to trauma centers in Montreal. Richardson was transferred by ambulance to Hospital du Sacre-Coeur, a trauma center 50 miles away in Montreal - a further delay of over an hour.

Because she didn't arrive at a facility capable of treatment (with the diagnosis perhaps still unknown) until six hours after the injury, in all likelihood by that time the pressure buildup was fatal. The Montreal hospital could not have saved her life.

Her initial refusal of medical care accounted for only part of the delay. She was still conscious when seen at a hospital and her death might have been prevented if the hospital either had the resources to diagnose and institute temporizing therapy, or air transport had taken her quickly to Montreal.

What would have happened at a US ski resort? It obviously depends on the location and facts, but according to a colleague who has worked at two major Colorado ski resorts, the same distance from Denver as Mt. Tremblant is from Montreal, things would likely have proceeded differently.

Assuming Richardson initially declined medical care here as well, once she did present to caregivers that she was suffering from a possible head trauma, she would've been immediately transported by air, weather permitting, and arrived in Denver in less than an hour.

If this weren't possible, in both resorts she would've been seen within 15 minutes at a local facility with CT scanning and someone who could perform temporary drainage until transfer to a neurosurgeon was possible.

If she were conscious at 4 p.m., she'd most likely have been diagnosed and treated about that time, receiving care unavailable in the local Canadian hospital. She might've still died or suffered brain damage but her chances of surviving would have been much greater in the United States.

American medicine is often criticized for being too specialty-oriented, with hospitals "duplicating" too many services like CT scanners. This argument has merit, but those criticisms ignore cases where it is better to have resources and not need them than to need resources and not have them.

Cory Franklin is a physician who lives outside of Chicago. 2009 Chicago Tribune; distributed by Tribune Media Services

CANADACARE MAY HAVE KILLED NATASHA - New York Post

Michelle Malkin cites Dr. T, who points to the shortage of neurosurgeons in Canada because of Socialized medicine:

Neurosurgeons are not so easy to find in Canada where subspecialization is not rewarded, and 50-60% of boarded neurosurgeons leave the country to practice somewhere else within 2 years of their certification.

The last good data I could find listed only 174 neurosurgeons in the entire country. In the U.S. we have 3,500. A study on the need of neurosurgeons listed the density of neurosurgeons in the U.S. to be about 1/55,000 people which means that an analogous number of neurosurgeons needed in Canada would be about 604.

It is true that neurosurgeons eschew emergency room coverage in the United States, but it is for completely different reasons than in Canada. Here, our ED's don't want to pay what it takes to hire a neurosurgeon for coverage; in Canada, no one wants to even be a neurosurgeon.

So, in a sense, the Canadian model for health care failed Natasha Richardson because of an artificially created shortage of subspecialists, which is a purposeful design meant to keep costs low in a taxpayer-funded-system. The U.S. would very much like to go in this direction and the plan is to broaden non subspecialized care options while reducing higher-tech procedures, diagnostics and physicians.

But as we go towards a single-payer system, we can all expect that when we need it most, the system will not be there for us, as it was not there for Natasha Richardson.

The United States has the best healthcare in the world - there is a reason folks from around the world (including Canada) come here for medical services. Our free market system provides incentives to deliver the best care at the best price, while rewarding those who take the risk in providing it. Conversely, the socialization of healthcare removes incentives - thus promoting the reduction in quality to people who need it the most.

The issue is not to exploit a tragedy. It is in everyone's interest to ask the hard questions, so the same mistakes are not repeated again. And socialized medicine is a mistake.

http://jimblazsik.com/2009/03/24/did-socialized-medicine-have-a-hand-in-costing-natasha-richardson-her-life/

by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 2:20 PM
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Replies (1-8):
realtorshelly
by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Such a tragedy...

sad 

tuplamama
by Bronze Member on Mar. 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM

According to experts she died because she did not go to hospital at once. When she finally was taken to hospital it was too late, no matter if they had 1000 scans in hospital.

but obviously people buy the scare tactics.

Our friend's daughter is dieing in USA because they don't have good enough health insurance and they have all ready in deep debt due to all medical bills.

Here that girl would be treated free.

Look at the statistics of countries that have medical care for all. Study the issue from independant sources rather than believe scandal reporters.


dr_m
by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

 

 

Canadian health care de-emphasizes widespread dissemination of technology like CT scanners and quick access to specialists like neurosurgeons. While all the facts of Richardson's medical care haven't been released, enough is known to pose questions with profound implications.

 

Between noon and 1 p.m., Richardson sustained what appeared to be a trivial head injury while skiing at Mt. Tremblant in Quebec. Within minutes, she was offered medical assistance but declined to be seen by paramedics.

But this delay is common in the early stages of epidural hematoma when patients have few symptoms - and there is reason to believe her case wasn't beyond hope at that point.

About three hours after the accident, the actress was taken to Centre Hospitalier Laurentien, in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, 25 miles from the resort. Hospital spokesman Alain Paquette said she was conscious upon reaching the hospital about 4 p.m.

The initial paramedic assessment, travel time to the hospital and time she spent there was nearly two hours - the crucial interval in this case. Survival rates for patients with epidural hematomas, conscious on arrival to a hospital, are good.

Richardson's evaluation required an immediate CT scan for diagnosis - followed by either a complete removal of accumulated blood by a neurosurgeon or a procedure by a trauma surgeon or emergency physician to relieve the pressure and allow her to be transported.

But Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts is a town of 9,000 people. Its hospital doesn't have specialized neurology or trauma services. It hasn't been reported whether the hospital has a CT scanner, but CT scanners are less common in Canada.

Compounding the problem, Quebec has no helicopter services to trauma centers in Montreal. Richardson was transferred by ambulance to Hospital du Sacre-Coeur, a trauma center 50 miles away in Montreal - a further delay of over an hour.

Because she didn't arrive at a facility capable of treatment (with the diagnosis perhaps still unknown) until six hours after the injury, in all likelihood by that time the pressure buildup was fatal. The Montreal hospital could not have saved her life.

 

The delays were a tragedy.   And also lack of CT, and lack of helicopter.   These lacks do not have to be a  part of socialised medicine, and universal health care does not preclude the best health care in the world.   Ours is not the best now, due to lack of access to care by so many people.   Many persons in the US die or develop very advanced stages of their disease due to an unwillingness to incur the high cost of insurance, and/ or treatment or inability to pay.   

So, an ordinary  person with a mild head injury here in this country, may just put off going for help even longer, due to fear of the expense, or lack of insurance...  over 40 million uninsured.  

 

 

 

 

elliephant
by Silver Member on Mar. 30, 2009 at 3:01 PM


Quoting dr_m:

 

 

Canadian health care de-emphasizes widespread dissemination of technology like CT scanners and quick access to specialists like neurosurgeons. While all the facts of Richardson's medical care haven't been released, enough is known to pose questions with profound implications.

 

Between noon and 1 p.m., Richardson sustained what appeared to be a trivial head injury while skiing at Mt. Tremblant in Quebec. Within minutes, she was offered medical assistance but declined to be seen by paramedics.

But this delay is common in the early stages of epidural hematoma when patients have few symptoms - and there is reason to believe her case wasn't beyond hope at that point.

About three hours after the accident, the actress was taken to Centre Hospitalier Laurentien, in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, 25 miles from the resort. Hospital spokesman Alain Paquette said she was conscious upon reaching the hospital about 4 p.m.

The initial paramedic assessment, travel time to the hospital and time she spent there was nearly two hours - the crucial interval in this case. Survival rates for patients with epidural hematomas, conscious on arrival to a hospital, are good.

Richardson's evaluation required an immediate CT scan for diagnosis - followed by either a complete removal of accumulated blood by a neurosurgeon or a procedure by a trauma surgeon or emergency physician to relieve the pressure and allow her to be transported.

But Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts is a town of 9,000 people. Its hospital doesn't have specialized neurology or trauma services. It hasn't been reported whether the hospital has a CT scanner, but CT scanners are less common in Canada.

Compounding the problem, Quebec has no helicopter services to trauma centers in Montreal. Richardson was transferred by ambulance to Hospital du Sacre-Coeur, a trauma center 50 miles away in Montreal - a further delay of over an hour.

Because she didn't arrive at a facility capable of treatment (with the diagnosis perhaps still unknown) until six hours after the injury, in all likelihood by that time the pressure buildup was fatal. The Montreal hospital could not have saved her life.

 

The delays were a tragedy.   And also lack of CT, and lack of helicopter.   These lacks do not have to be a  part of socialised medicine, and universal health care does not preclude the best health care in the world.   Ours is not the best now, due to lack of access to care by so many people.   Many persons in the US die or develop very advanced stages of their disease due to an unwillingness to incur the high cost of insurance, and/ or treatment or inability to pay.   

So, an ordinary  person with a mild head injury here in this country, may just put off going for help even longer, due to fear of the expense, or lack of insurance...  over 40 million uninsured.  

 

 

 

 

Had they gone to Whistler in BC to ski, im sure that the quality of care would have been different.

Tremblant isnt a big resort.  Im surprised celebrities go there.


 

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/misterzumbi/misc/Characters/a_team.jpg The "A" Team on HD island

blondekosmic15
by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 4:28 PM

 

Quoting tuplamama:

According to experts she died because she did not go to hospital at once. When she finally was taken to hospital it was too late, no matter if they had 1000 scans in hospital.

but obviously people buy the scare tactics.

Our friend's daughter is dieing in USA because they don't have good enough health insurance and they have all ready in deep debt due to all medical bills.

Here that girl would be treated free.

Look at the statistics of countries that have medical care for all. Study the issue from independant sources rather than believe scandal reporters.

I love the way you comment as if you know me...truly sad since I cared for both of my terminally ill parents + assisted my father-in-law w/ my mother-in-law for months prior to her passing! I have read numerous accts. of those who live overseas who will disagree w/ your assersions~

 


Believe me I have......listened to countless ppl. who were forced to wait for months for simple procedures & surgeries which would save their lives. My sister has been a nurse for 30+ yrs. & she has revealed some horror stories to me & the potential of Socialized Healthcare. She is a staunch liberal & voted for Obama, mind you! I gave up my life some yrs. ago to care for both of my parents { @ different times } 24/7...my father died in my arms & my mother passed away from Lou Gehrigs disease. I fed her daily thru an NG tube for the last several months of her life. So I am fully aware of the horrors of Socialized Healthcare & the manner terminally ill patients in other Countries many times will be denied the care they so desperately need. @ least now here in America when a person is caring for a loved one as I did w/ my father..I still maintained the right to choose if my dad should be resuscitated or not when he experienced a heart attack. The availability to the many procedures which his illness required were there. Under SHC the doctor will decide not the family member who shall be revived! Costs will be a deciding factor. When I had the sticker do resuscitate { R } on my father's chart * the Dr. complied w/ my wishes which provided me w/ several more months of personal time w/ my dad which I will cherish for the remainder of my life. We spent that time reminiscing about his long Military career which he was so proud of.  Much of this would have been denied my father & the extra time I spent w/ him would have been a dream under Socialized HC ......no thank you!

PamR
by Pam on Mar. 30, 2009 at 4:33 PM
It's unfortunate to see that some media outlets are choosing to exploit someone's death to further their own political views.
elliephant
by Silver Member on Mar. 30, 2009 at 4:44 PM


Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

 


Believe me I have......listened to countless ppl. who were forced to wait for months for simple procedures & surgeries which would save their lives. My sister has been a nurse for 30+ yrs. & she has revealed some horror stories to me & the potential of Socialized Healthcare. She is a staunch liberal & voted for Obama, mind you! I gave up my life some yrs. ago to care for both of my parents { @ different times } 24/7...my father died in my arms & my mother passed away from Lou Gehrigs disease. I fed her daily thru an NG tube for the last several months of her life. So I am fully aware of the horrors of Socialized Healthcare & the manner terminally ill patients in other Countries many times will be denied the care they so desperately need. @ least now here in America when a person is caring for a loved one as I did w/ my father..I still maintained the right to choose if my dad should be resuscitated or not when he experienced a heart attack. The availability to the many procedures which his illness required were there. Under SHC the doctor will decide not the family member who shall be revived!

 

Ellie: im sorry but that is NOT the case in Canada.  We choose as a family member, not the govt not the doctor.  We govern our own healthcare needs not our govt. 

As a healthcare worker in Canada, ive never ever seen anyone denied care for anything.  Ever.

Costs will be a deciding factor. When I had the sticker do resuscitate { R } on my father's chart * the Dr. complied w/ my wishes which provided me w/ several more months of personal time w/ my dad which I will cherish for the remainder of my life. We spent that time reminiscing about his long Military career which he was so proud of.  Much of this would have been denied my father & the extra time I spent w/ him would have been a dream under Socialized HC ......no thank you!


http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/misterzumbi/misc/Characters/a_team.jpg The "A" Team on HD island

vlester
by Bronze Member on Mar. 31, 2009 at 10:50 AM


Quoting realtorshelly:

Such a tragedy...

sad 


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