Monday, October 04, 2010

CNN: "The Empowered Patient": a stroke victim in the California Sierra gets help just in time

This weekend CNN aired a one hour documentary “The Empowered Patient”. The point of the show is that patients need to be very pro-active to get the best care, and families sometimes have to become very proactive, questioning the medical establishment, in care for elders.

One segment in the show involved a man who had a stroke in a snowbound area of the Sierra Nevada. The sheriff came and called for a helicopter, and a nurse made a decision to fly him to a hospital more than 100 miles away to where the clot-busting drug TPA was available. He did get to the hospital in three hours, and the TPA did start to reverse his one-side paralysis in about twenty minutes.

Another segment concerned a school-age girl struck in the head with a baseball. The hospital wanted to release her, but the parents insisted on more tests. She was found to have a “Ben Casey”-style subdural hematoma.

There is a book “The Empowered Patient”, by Julia A. Hallisy, link here.

A typical CNN video from the show is “Choosing the Right Hospital”

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