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Britain shamed by NHS death rates (UK Socialized Medicine kills 400% more after surgery than US!)
The Observer ^ | September 8, 2003 | Jo Reville

Posted on 09/07/2003 2:30:17 PM PDT by Timesink

Britain shamed by NHS death rates

Waiting lists and shortage of doctors blamed for grim mortality figures

Jo Revill, health editor
Sunday September 7, 2003
The Observer


Patients who have major surgery in Britain are four times more likely to die than those in America, according to a major new study.

The comparison of care, which reveals a sevenfold difference in mortality rates in one set of patients, concludes that hospital waiting lists, a shortage of specialists and competition for intensive care beds are to blame.

Fresh evidence of a stark contrast between the fate of patients on either side of the Atlantic will re-open the debate over whether NHS reforms are having any impact on survival rates.

Mounting evidence suggests that patients who are most at risk of complications after an operation are not being seen by specialists, and are not reaching intensive care units in time to save them.

This week health Ministers will present the latest figures showing another yearly rise in the number of intensive care beds for those who are critically ill. But Britain lags far behind America and most European countries in its critical care facilities. An authoritative study to be published later this year will demonstrate that the chances of survival after undergoing a major operation are far greater in an American hospital.

The authors conclude that NHS waiting lists, the lack of specialist-led care and the fact that many patients do not go routinely to intensive care contribute largely to the difference.

A team from University College London (UCL) and a team from Columbia University in New York jointly studied the medical fortunes of more than 1,000 patients at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and compared them with nearly 1,100 patients who had undergone the same sort of major surgery at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

The results, which surprised even the researchers, showed that 2.5 per cent of the American patients died in hospital after major surgery, compared with just under 10 per cent of British patients. They found that there was a sevenfold difference in mortality rates when a subgroup of patients - the most seriously ill - were compared.

Professor Monty Mythen, head of anaesthesia at UCL who oversees the critical care facilities at Great Ormond Street Hospital, led the British side of the research, which will be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal later this year.

'The main difference seems to be in the quality of post-operative care, and who is likely to care for patients in the US, compared with the UK,' Mythen said.

'In America, in the Manhattan hospital, the care [after surgery] is delivered largely by a consultant surgeon and an anaesthetist. We know from other research that more than one third of those who die after a major operation in Britain are not seen by a similar consultant.'

He also believes that the queue for treatment in the NHS would inevitably mean that British patients were more at risk. 'We would be suspicious that the diseases would be more advanced in the UK, simply because the waiting lists are longer.'

The New York patients had paid through private insurance to go to hospital and were therefore likely to be of a higher social class and healthier, whereas the NHS patients were from all social classes. The researchers attempted to level out social differences by rating each patient according to clinical status.

Each patient was then placed in a mortality-risk category. Those at greatest risk were calculated to have a 36 per cent of dying after surgery, whereas the lowest risk patients had between zero and five per cent chance of dying.

Mythen added: 'We looked at a number of hypotheses, but it does seem to show a difference in the systems of care, rather than a reflection of some other factor. The provision of intensive-care beds is obviously one of the differences. In America, everyone would go into a critical care bed - they go into a highly monitored environment. That doesn't happen routinely in the UK.'

Each year, more than three million operations are carried out on the NHS. Around 350,000 of these are emergencies, which carry a higher risk of complications, but there is no routine triage system in Britain for picking out patients before surgery, to determine who is most at risk.

Previous reports looking at deaths that occur within 28 days of surgery have shown that 36 per cent occurred in patients who went directly into ICU after surgery. But a higher mortality rate - 42 per cent - is seen among patients who had first been sent to a ward, got into difficulties and then had to be transferred to intensive care.

Professor David Bennett, head of intensive care at St George's, after looking at survival rates, said: 'There are substantial number of patients each year who die, who might otherwise have survived had they got the appropriate kind of care after surgery.

'There's a crucial six- to eight-hour period when some people need their cardiac output [the amount of blood the heart pumps out each minute] boosted. Even 80-year-olds undergoing heart surgery are far more likely to survive when they receive that care, so why are we not, as a matter of routine, picking out the people most at risk?'


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: afghancaves; britain; britishfriends; deathcultivation; england; nhs; socializedmedicine; uk
Yes, they're just SO much more civilized than we are. :::rolling eyes:::
1 posted on 09/07/2003 2:30:22 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: *Socialized Medicine; *BritishFriends; *Death Cultivation
bump for bump lists
2 posted on 09/07/2003 2:34:34 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Professor Monty Mythen, head of anaesthesia at UCL

They're not dead, they're just sleeping!

3 posted on 09/07/2003 2:39:58 PM PDT by Restorer (Never let schooling interfere with your education.)
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To: Timesink
Waiting lists and shortage of doctors blamed for grim mortality figures

WhaaaAAAT??? A shortage of *doctors* in the wonderful socialist paradise, where everyone is taxed into a state of equality and spending 4,347 years in college gets you the same wages as a fish-and-chips "technician"??

You mean people don't want to just selflessly dedicate their lives to saving others without any reward, in the great socialist experiment??

Why, I'm shocked... **SHOCKED**, I tell you... I...

I'm just speechless!! In **BRITAIN**?? This *can't* really be happening. It *must* be all bourgeois reactionary propaganda and lies! There must be some mistake!! Why, the great Truthfinder, Karl Marx himself, is buried in Britain!!!

< < yaaawwwwwnnnnnnnnnnn... > >

4 posted on 09/07/2003 2:41:02 PM PDT by fire_eye
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To: Timesink
Wait seven years for surgery then be told "you are too old to have it done now"
5 posted on 09/07/2003 2:41:18 PM PDT by spokeshave (Adjusting tag line again....GO ARNIE....)
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To: Restorer

It's time to OPERATE!


6 posted on 09/07/2003 2:45:15 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
This is a good one to print out and carry around in your pocket for when you get into arguments with lefties and they get all wet in the knickers about the 'free medicine in Europe'.
7 posted on 09/07/2003 3:08:55 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Restorer
Professor Monty Mythen, head of anaesthesia at UCL ....

And don't forget his flying NHS circus!

8 posted on 09/07/2003 3:09:30 PM PDT by Agnes Heep
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To: Timesink
It's a quagmire! Send more troops!
9 posted on 09/07/2003 3:51:33 PM PDT by MattAMiller
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To: Timesink
The New York patients had paid through private insurance to go to hospital and were therefore likely to be of a higher social class and healthier, whereas the NHS patients were from all social classes.

The sample US hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, is ten tiny Manhattan blocks from Harlem. I doubt the patients there are all wealthly.

10 posted on 09/07/2003 3:56:51 PM PDT by Steve Eisenberg
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To: Timesink
bump
11 posted on 09/07/2003 3:58:07 PM PDT by luckydevi
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To: fire_eye
Why, the great Truthfinder, Karl Marx himself, is buried in Britain!!!

Another happy customer of British health care.
12 posted on 09/07/2003 4:00:25 PM PDT by tet68
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To: Timesink
But look on the bright side it cut costs in the long run.....

Death is a permanent cure ......

Or in Microsoft marketing speak.... it’s an "undocumented feature"

13 posted on 09/07/2003 4:05:01 PM PDT by tophat9000 (Free Republic ..You have to support, things we don't support, to get our support.... goofy isnít it?)
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To: Steve Eisenberg
We lived in London for a year and visited a friend (from a wealthy family but didn't have the private medical ins) in the hospital where he died....very poor care.

The hospital was an old WWII Quonset Hut...huge...with no walls between beds...just curtains...and the nurse visited him once a day. Sad.

14 posted on 09/07/2003 4:06:36 PM PDT by Ann Archy
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To: Timesink
I'm not surprised. Both of my grandparents were victims of British socialized medicine, particularly my grandmother whose cancer was allowed to spread for months while they waited for an appt with a specialist to find out if she had cancer or not. This time was ample enough for it to spread beyond repair.

My grandfather was 81 and I'm sure coming soon to his time anyway, but still, his cancer didn't seem to be taken all that seriously either. This was a healthy older man. In his late 60's he climbed the ladder on my mom's house to repaint the overhangs and then proceeded to paint the whole house. He gardened seriously up until 8 months before his death and vacationed in Spain a mere 2 months before he was diagnosed. He travelled extensively and was very active. He was a Navy man in WWII and healthy as a horse--died with his own teeth in his mouth at 81! I'llgive them some pass in that my grandpa did not go for "help" so he may have let something go that could have been diagnosed earlier, but my overall impression is if you are over a certain age in England, don't expect to be treated as aggresively for life threatening illnesses. It's almost a state sanctioned passive euthenasia(sp).
15 posted on 09/07/2003 4:06:49 PM PDT by glory
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To: spokeshave
Sounds like my grandmother--waited about 18 months for surgery, only to be told after 18 months that the cancer had now spread--big surprise.
16 posted on 09/07/2003 4:09:03 PM PDT by glory
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To: Timesink
We should have parallel health systems in America...

A socialized system - which ALL Democrats, Liberals, Marxists, Communists and union members MUST use..

A private system - for the rest of us...

Wait a minute.....we almost have that now!

Semper Fi
17 posted on 09/07/2003 6:03:08 PM PDT by river rat (War works......It brings Peace... Give war a chance to destroy Jihadists...)
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To: Timesink
*rolling eyes* is RIGHT!!

bashing bush is their nationl past time.

reading their daily papers online is painful; all they do is attack bush and his policies. and they all basically think alike!

blair is getting hit like hell.

the press there is mean and nasty!
18 posted on 09/07/2003 6:29:04 PM PDT by WillowyDame
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To: Timesink
It's really bad in Britain if their hospital-related death rate is worse than ours. In America there are far too many, and there's no effective oversight.
19 posted on 09/07/2003 8:21:45 PM PDT by WaterDragon (America the beautiful, I love this nation of immigrants.)
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To: Timesink
Cann't you see how a british style medical system in this country would help our social security situation. Of course the Demon-rat leadership would still have private medicine just as they always have had. Sort of like the way they have always had private schools for thier kids.
20 posted on 09/07/2003 8:31:16 PM PDT by fella
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To: Restorer
They're pining for the fjords.
21 posted on 09/07/2003 8:37:20 PM PDT by ArcLight
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To: WaterDragon
It's really bad in Britain if their hospital-related death rate is worse than ours. In America there are far too many, and there's no effective oversight.

OK, smarty pants, why don't you tell us what an acceptable level would be, and what sort of "oversight" you think would get us there.

-ccm

22 posted on 09/07/2003 10:21:11 PM PDT by ccmay
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To: ccmay
"Every single year, close to 100,000 people die fom infections they get in the hospital. Medical errors -- giving patients the wrong drug, the wrong dose, the wrong organ transplant, even operating on the wrong body part __ take thousands more lies. The monetary cost is large, close to $30 billion a year in medical bills, based on data from the Harvard Medical Practices Study. The federal government pays 45 percent of that tabl These infections and medical errors are largely preventable. What's standing in the way of reducing them?

Astoundingly, Medicare. Medicare pays the same fees to hospitals with the best care as it does to those with high infection rates, numerous medical errors, and substandard survival rates...."

This is from the article "Dangerous Hospitals and Medicare" by Betsy McCaughy in the latest issue of American Enterprise Magazine. More...

"Medicare does business with any hospital accredited by the Joint Council on the Accredition of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO). How tough are JCAHO standards? They're "not likely to give you an idea of the safety and quality of hospitals," says Arthur Levin, director of the Center for Medical Consumers.

The problem is that JCAHO is funded by fees from the hospitals it accredits. Consequently, it doesn't ask questions that hospitals don't want to answer..."

Over 100,000 deaths a year from hospital staff negligence sounds pretty horrendous and "unacceptable" to me. And it doesn't sound as if there is ANY oversight whatsoever!

23 posted on 09/07/2003 11:46:35 PM PDT by WaterDragon (America the beautiful, I love this nation of (legal) immigrants.)
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