Dispatches From the Front Lines of Socialized Medicine

Obama was right: you’d be better off taking the blue pill or the red pill—even both, in abundance!—rather than have the operation:

A fit and healthy woman bled to death after having routine surgery for a back pain.

Andrea Green, 42, died just 14 hours after the operation at Barnsley District General Hospital.

Her death came after staff in the hospital’s orthopaedic department warned managers about grave risks to patients ‘extreme pressure and stress’ in the department.

Ms Green had started suffering from back pain in August 2009. The pain was so bad that she was bedridden for two weeks despite being prescribed with painkillers by her GP on numerous occasions.

She was referred to the orthopaedic clinic at Barnsley Hospital but by the time her appointment came round, her pain had subsided.

The clinic diagnosed her as suffering from a prolapsed (herniated) disc. Unbeknown to Ms Green, this condition quite often resolves itself over time without the need for further treatment.

Despite this, the hospital listed her for surgery and she was advised that the pain could return if the operation was not carried out.

Because she did not want the pain to return, she agreed to the procedure, which took place in March 2010.

When her sister Janette Allatt visited her in hospital later that evening, she found her very pale and complaining of stomach pain.

Nurses discovered she had very low blood pressure and because she was in pain, administered medication to relieve it.

At 2am the following morning, Ms Green’s father received a telephone call from the hospital informing them that she was seriously ill. To their horror, by the time her family arrived at the hospital, she had died.

A report from the post mortem examination listed the cause of death as retroperitoneal haemorrhage (internal bleeding).

The report suggests that the wrong disc was operated on and that the internal bleed was created during the operation.

Andrew Harrison, head of medical negligence at Raley’s solicitors, which represented the family, said serious internal bleeding after the operation should have been spotted and treated by doctors.

He said: ‘They could have saved her for up to 30 minutes before she died. They had got all the information if someone cared to look.’

Care? Why should anyone care?

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