Medical Incompetence

AT: Mark Belling of Milwaukee’s AM1130 (Belling is among the substitutes for Rush Limbaugh) devoted a lengthy segment to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s article about Alisha Newman and her being charged with physical abuse of a child — her 10-year-old daughter.  Further research indicates that Alisha Newman is a licensed nurse, married, and the mother of two other children.

Newman is accused of faking her daughter’s illnesses to health care providers in multiple states, resulting in “unnecessary and potentially fatal treatments for the girl, including a pacemaker, feeding tube and IV port.”

The article raises more questions than answers:

  1.  Why would a doctor place a pacemaker in a 10-year-old?  Aren’t there a medical criteria for placing a feeding tube and IV port?  Weren’t the physicians who treated this child capable of seeing that the child was essentially healthy?  Who is holding these medical providers accountable?
  2. Who paid for these services?  Insurance?  Medicaid?  Where was the oversight?  What about the nurses who actually treated her in the hospital?  Where was large claim management?  Why didn’t large claim management intervene — especially knowing she was hospitalized for 21 days just five weeks earlier? Read More

17 Comments on Medical Incompetence

  1. …yep, “Obama” wrecked health care, but it’s ALWAYS had it’s share of idiots even BEFORE him.

    There are two words you should know that appear on many medical reports and are as old as Hippocrates.

    Iatrogenic = Induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures.

    Nosocomial = Originating or taking place in a hospital, acquired in a hospital, especially in reference to an infection.

    …”Caveat Emptor” still attains even if your salesman wears a white coat. Doctors are humans, and subject to ALL the faults and flaws of humans.

    …at the end of the day, YOU are still responsible for YOUR medical care, yours and your loved ones…and NOW, more than EVER…

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  2. Depends on the clinicians involved, especially the ones pencil whipping their paperwork and punching the clock. Also the idiotic protocols put in place to rein in costs but could give 2 shits about the patient. Also see the Swiss Cheese Theory of Errors. This nutjob and her poor kid slipped through all the cracks.

    The poor kid has lost all chances at normal development and a normal life.

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  3. Try finding one who speaks comprehensible English anymore. Barely literate flowchart readers.

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  4. …It is Munchausen by Proxy, @huron, but that is something that ALL medical providers on EVERY level are trained on, and should recognize.

    It is serioulsy abnormal for a 10 year old in most circumstances to require things like pacemakers and enough IV medications to REQUIRE a port, absent a traumatic accident or serious underlying genetic condition. That ALONE should raise red flags from the ward to the boardroom of the insurance company.

    Doctors don’t operate in a vacuum, they have OTHER doctors cross-checking them for various reasons, whether it’s a night call doctor briefing on the case, a cardiologist called in on a consult, a Chief Resident reviewing it, or the staff doctor at a provider saying “WTF are we being asked to pay for a 10 year old to have a pacemaker for?”.

    Nurses, too, are well-aware of what’s going on with their charges, and would doubtlessly have an opinion on some of the things the doctor is doing, as well as probably had some conversations with Mom that would make the small red flag they would have seen right away with the elderly regimen for the child patient, start waving. As a medic, I only saw folks for maybe 15 minutes on an ambulance during which I could sometimes convesate with patients and ride-along parents, and even at THAT could discover things weren’t what they SEEMED, like getting a “dad” to let slip that he shook his infant or an 12 year old to admit she faked a public seizure to escape the relative that was trying to rape her. Nurses are WAY smarter than ME, and ALSO see patients and families enough to HAVE short conversations AND notice disturbing behavioral clues, and even though nurses are also the most harassed people on the planet, most still care enough to pick up on these things.

    …so this is not as much a story about a mentally ill person tormenting her daughter for attention as it is a story about the medical profession not only not STOPPING her, but ABETTING her.

    Crazy people are around medicine ALL THE TIME. This is why it is SUPPOSED to have safeguards. Whether this is a story about greed or incompetence, understaffing or overwork, careless or overconfidence, the story IS about the MEDICAL world, and MUST be FULLY addressed to protect the NEXT child from the NEXT lunatic, and maybe find and eliminate some bad practitioners along the way…

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  5. …also, an ambulance conversation with an unconscious, bedsheet/cape-wearing patient’s inamorta as to WHY the naked guy she called us about is unconscious with a bedsheet tied around his neck can result in some git using the information for part of his iOTW handle and Gravitar image many, many years later, but that’s a different story for another time…

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  6. Supernightshade .No argument here.I am a first responder and helped an unconscious girl at a mall paking lot.Mom was a nurse in a panic. the girl had a seizure and could not breath. Jaw thrust she aspired fluid and was fine when the ambulance showed up.

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  7. …nice to see you again, @Hoo Hoo Nay Nay, I thought you’d probably weigh in on this, as you did with your usual excellent insight. Just to be clear on what I said above, I really don’t expect nurses to be able to STOP doctors from being idiots, hospital politics being what it is and how thin and stressed as nurses are, but you guys are ALWAYS a reliable backstop against self-infatuated attendings, and I am more puzzled that some smart nurse didn’t call this idiocity out than I am indicting the profession for not doing so.

    …That’s what I mean by I suspect understaffing among other things. I have nothing but the highest respect for nurses in general, it’s a thankless job that’s almost ALWAYS well-done.

    God bless, SNS.

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  8. huron
    JUNE 2, 2019 AT 4:59 PM
    “…Mom was a nurse in a panic. the girl had a seizure and could not breath.”

    …day 2 of training, shortly after “Legal Responsibilities”.—You can’t take care of your OWN like you can a STRANGER, you’re not dispassionate enough to think clearly.

    Mom may have been an EXCELLENT nurse, but that’s NOT a patient, that’s her little baby girl! “Rational” can go right out the window, unless you’ve developed some serious mental compartmentalization skills.

    As your comment shows.

    And God bless you for dealing with the issue. Someone’s daughter could be brain damaged or dead today if not for your quick response.

    Well done.

    …this is also why EVERYONE should get SOME medical training, because you never know when a life may need saving…

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  9. Have nothing but good to say about my PERSONAL experiences with the medical community. Horror stories about others, yeah but with over a dozen surgeries I’ve not had them screw anything up yet. My daughter the nurse got me out of the hospital right after replacing one of my shoulders about a month ago when they wanted to keep me over night. Into the OR at 11:30 and on my way home around 3:30 that afternoon. Convinced the sturgeon she’d watch me as she lives three doors away. Don’t like staying in hospital. People die there.

    Two words… TEACHING HOSPITAL
    More poking and prodding, but you’ll do better for it.

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  10. Nurse here. Thanks for the kind words SNS.
    It is often forgotten that a nurse should work for the patient, and be their advocate. It can get hairy sometimes, especially in dementia cases.

    but- back to the article. Let me guess- medicaid, mother on disability.

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  11. Not only incompetence, but the willingness to perform invasive medical procedures without an obvious need to do so is out of control. My brother just went through 4 months of hell as a result of a liver biopsy that went bad. They damn near killed him, and the results of the biopsy showed he didn’t need it in the first place. No doubt there are good and talented doctors, but how do you know you getting one when we have obamacare fucking up the system?

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  12. I apologize to any nurses.The mother was quite distressed.She calmed down quickly once she had help.once it was known the situation the young girl was placed into recovery position the mom said she was a nurse and basically controlled the situation afterward.

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  13. …I don’t see where you offended any nurses, @huron, and you didn’t say anything disrespectful, you’re fine.

    Nurses are human too, as I’m sure they would agree with me about, and everyone needs help at one time or another…

    …and NEVER apologize for saving a life. They’re ALL precious in the sight of the Lord, and if He puts you there to save them,
    you’re surely doing His will…

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  14. I do not know if it is still the case, but I suspect it is.

    Thirty some years ago a local doctor had been “practicing” medicine for three years, when he was forced to leave the state because he had still not passed the test to be licensed. I was told by some hospital staff that several states allow unlicensed doctors to practice medicine for some grace period while they presumably are working to pass their boards, especially in areas desperate for doctors, often up to three years. Before booting them out if they have still failed to pass their medical boards and become licensed.

    What these guys do is go to another state with similar 3 year grace period, get kicked out there after three years of failing to become licensed, and so on. They make the circuit through several states (including large cities), that allow this. After reaching the end of the last one, they return to the first state, that has by then forgotten they were there before for 3 years. They work their whole lives as doctors who were never forced to prove they are competent. All they ever had were some records showing they attended the Acme School of Medicine.

    It’s almost as if once you’re in the doctor club you’re a member for life. No other member will recommend you be kicked out of the club due to incompetence. But it’s probably more along the lines of wanting to avoid lawsuits if they try to get them barred from practicing medicine. Easier to promise to say, he’s a swell guy and a hell of good doctor, if he promises to go to another state, and no longer in your medical center. Get rid of the bad egg at the lowest monetary cost. The cost of ruined health of someone in another state isn’t directly the first institution’s fault.

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  15. Supernightshade Thank you we are all Gods children. I once asked my mother what my first name meant she replied child of Christ.

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