Blood sucker phlebotomists leave patients short of blood! (true!)
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this! I know that here in the USA doctors go totally overboard on ordering lab tests. It’s called “defensive medicine”, meaning they do it to avoid getting sued for negligence, not because these tests are necessary half the time.
The US is a country that is driven by greedy, predatory lawyers. Any doctor who even says hello to another human being is at risk of being sued (it’s happened). There is a joke here that lawyers are not so bad on the whole; it’s just 98% of them getting the other 2% a bad name…
But when this defensive medicine has become so crazy they are taking so much blood from the patient for lab work that anemia results… What?
It’s true, apparently. According to a study in the Aug. 8 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, one in five patients who are hospitalized for heart attacks develop moderate to severe anemia because so much of their blood is drawn for routine diagnostic tests! One in five!
So is that a problem? You bet. A patient already debilitated is losing the most vital life force fluid we have; the result is very predictable: patients feel AWFUL and mortality is increased. Lab tests are KILLING patients. That’s when is stops being a joke.
People with anemia have too-low numbers of the red blood cells that carry critical oxygen to different parts of the body. These patients already have poor blood perfusion, because the primary pump (the heart) is malfunctioning… As I said, the consequence is predictable.
The study authors looked at electronic medical records for almost 18,000 patients who’d had a heart attack at one of 57 U.S. hospitals. While all had normal hemoglobin levels when they were admitted, 20% developed moderate-to-severe anemia by the time they left the hospital.
The risk of anemia rose 18% for each 50 milliliters (mL) drawn. There were also differences in the amount of blood drawn from hospital to hospital.
The study did NOT look at whether the tests were appropriate or needed, only how much blood was drawn. The researchers could not therefore say the tests were unnecessary.
But it all goes as fuel to one of my number one live-longer dictums: if you want a long and happy life, STAY AWAY FROM DOCTORS!
[Aug. 8, 2011, Archives of Internal Medicine, online]