CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
August 2010
These are just a few of the many articles about Avandia that have come across my desk in recent weeks. To me, as a consumer advocate, what they have done is criminal.  Glaxo should be held accountable as well as the doctors who were complicit.
Avandia: A Scandalous Past and an Uncertain Future more
Glaxo Takes a $2.4B Legal Charge on Avandia & Paxil more
Baylor College Probes Avandia and Ghostwriting more
FDA Issues Hold on Avandia Study more
FDA Panel Members Talk About Avandia Conflicts more
Doctor Paid By Takeda was on Avandia Panel more
Glaxo Hid a Study on Avandia Risk for a Decade more
GSK'S Coverup of Avandia's Heart Risk Data: Is This How the Entire Industry Views its Responsibility to Patients? more
Diabetes Drug Maker Hid Test Data, Files Indicate more
An Avandia Study Author . . . Or So We Thought more

Study Examines Sepsis and Septic Shock After Surgery
Sepsis and septic shock appear to be more common than heart attacks or pulmonary blood clots among patients having general surgery, and the death rate
for patients with septic shock is approximately 34 percent within 30 days of operation, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery.
The results suggest that sepsis continues to be a common and serious complication in general surgery patients and occurs more frequently than pulmonary embolism or heart attack. "Of note, septic shock occurs 10 times more frequently than myocardial infarction and has the same mortality rate; thus, it
kills 10 times more people," the authors write. "Therefore, our level of vigilance in identifying sepsis and septic shock needs to mimic, if not surpass, our vigilance for identifying myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism."


As always, thank you for your support.  It is tax deductible and very much appreciated.
203 247 5757
Dear Members.
Don Berwick has had a distinguished career.  Years ago, he understood and felt an urgency to reform our health care delivery system to a patient centered system of care.  More importantly, he saw first hand that hospitals failed miserably in creating and supporting cultures of safety.  There would not be 100,000 preventable deaths, nor 100,000 healthcare acquired infection deaths, nor one medication error per day per hospital patient if there was a safe and just culture within our hospitals.  Dr. Berwick created the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.  In oneof his first campaigns, a Campaign to Save 100,000 lives, only a few Connecticut hospitals signed on.  We the  patients deserve far better.  But hats off to the Obama administration for having the courage to make this important appointment.
The New York Times
July 7, 2010    

Obama appoints Berwick CMS administrator

Using his authority to make interim appointments while Congress is in recess, President Obama today appointed Donald Berwick, M.D., as administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Berwick is president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. "Given the importance of health reform to millions of Americans, tapping a respected leader for CMS is of the utmost importance," said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. "President Obama has found such a leader in Don Berwick. Don has dedicated his career to engaging hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health care providers to improve patient care. A physician and innovator in health care quality, his knowledge of the health care system makes him the right choice. We look forward to working with Don in the months ahead to improve health care in America." Berwick served as an independent member of the AHA Board of Trustees from 1996 to 1999. 

Here's a very alarming statistic
17 percent of the doctors surveyed have direct, personal knowledge of an impaired or incompetent physician in their workplaces. One-third of those doctors did not report the matter to authorities such as hospital officials or state medical boards. (Source: Catherine M. DesRoches, PhD, Harvard Medical School. Journal of the American Medical Association, July 14, 2010)

New Survey Launched to Query Patients/Consumers on Overtreatment

A new survey is being launched to enable patients to share their experience of overtreatment, an emerging quality and patient safety issue in health care today.     
The survey is a partnership between TreatmentTrap.org and Consumer Union's Safe Patient Project.  While not a scientific survey, it aims to elicit patient experiences of overtreatment to raise public awareness.  Patient experiences of overtreatment can be useful to health care leaders and policy makers as they establish priorities to reduce overuse.  
The survey can be found by going to: www.treatmenttrap.org.  Click on "Share Your Story" and you will be directed to the CU Safe Patient Project survey.
The "Share Your Story" survey asks two questions: "Have you had medical care you thought was unnecessary?" and "Have you declined medical care you thought was unnecessary and obtained a medically appropriate alternative?"
The survey prompts respondents to share experiences of overuse including those identified as overused by the National Quality Forum's National Priorities Partnership.  These procedures include: spine surgery, heart bypass surgery, hysterectomy and prostatectomy.  
For further information, contact Rosemary Gibson at  [email protected]