Thursday, April 9, 2009

Facultative Anaerobe

Went to see a consult today. The patient is a 120 pack year smoker. (number of packs of cigarettes per day times number of years smoked) who is 57 years old. As I was explaining the surgery to him between his constant snorting of the oxygen from the nasal canulas he explained that he was just waiting for his check from his lawsuit and it was his old boss that caused him to be short of breath.. I couldn't help but ask what the lawsuit was about and it was of course for mesothelioma. I asked how he found out that he had mesothelioma was and he said that he answered an add on television and and the law firm set up an xray and it showed that he had it. The lawyers also said he got it from work when he was summer help at a brick factory. He even commented that he had only worked there 2 weeks. I asked how long ago this xray was and it turned out that he had the xray about a year ago. I asked if he had a ct at that time or a biopsy and he said that they said that he just had a little bit but it was enough for the lawsuit.

Well, being the good doctor I checked all the xrays we had on the patient including the many cts of his chest that he had for his squamous cell carcinoma of his lungs with positive hilar nodes. Nothing in the scans resembled meso. I checked the records, he had come in about 9 months ago with hemoptysis when the nodes and the lungs hits were found and had his first runs of chemo and radiation. Given the extent of his disease at that time, I would love to see his "mesothelioma xray" to see if those nodes and masses were there.

After I looked at the scans, I thought about going and telling him that his scans did not show mesothelioma but he was out smoking.


SeaSpray said...

Someone backed into my son's car last month, while he was stopped waiting to pull out. has to replace door/mirror.

Son got a letter from an attorney stating that he may be able to sue for damages..or whatever. I threw it out! How did he even get son's name?

I have a friend who has a friend who is getting 125,000 paid to her in a whistle blowers case. Not clear on the story but she sued her employer for firing her and the employer wasn't feeding the group home men properly.

However..I know this woman has won other lawsuits... most recent from a plastic surgeon when she had her eyes done and a skin treatment. She had pictures of herself taken looking swollen, sad and distressed. I guess the skin took longer to heal and she somehow won 10,000 out of that. The thing is during that time...she really was acting alright and not depressed and bragging to friend about the suit. UGH! Disgusting! This woman doesn't feel the least bit guilty.

I'd never want her visiting me at my house because if she got hurt..I'm sure she'd sue!

Scary to think people are out there like that.

I'll bet in this man's case... they just steered him into this and he probably doesn't even think of the consequences to anyone or company. I'm not saying he'd care if he did... but how would these people feel if they were unfairly sued? But he obviously believes it happened. So.. if he thinks it caused it..can't blame him. Of course..couldn't be the cigarettes..right?

I had a neighbor who broke his neck on a construction job because he accidentally backed into a big ditch. He was suing. Yet..he would ride around the neighborhood on his horse with the neck brace on. He agreed to 5,000.

But then like I've already said here...there are the people like my friend who almost DIED, had SERIOUS consequences to being given 10 times the dose in her allergy shot... who would've won easily...who did not sue her doctor, forgave the nurse, asked that she not be fired and still goes there today. She never sued for a penny.

Can you just imagine how much she could've sued for?

I understand though. I could not hurt my doctors that way either and I would just be glad to be alive and well again. And even if I wasn't..I just could not hurt them.

I have heard of doctors suing doctors. I am guessing it would have to be for something bad because I've also heard where you all circle the wagons and protect your own.

There is a tv commercial that comes on about maybe being able to sue the doctor because of cerebral palsy caused at birth or something like that.

I will just say... that I am not giving a total pass on lawsuits because I think that unfortunately... human nature being what it is... there could be medical professionals who should not be practicing and have inexcusably harmed patients... and don't care. And so it must help to have the possibility as a deterrent. Then again.. the bad docs are probably just bad docs.

And I disagree with the way everyone sues for everything, everywhere now. It's just wrong.

But I take serious issue with suing a doctor who has tried to the best of his/her ability to help the patient. Particularly since we all know there are risks. And that is why hospitals have the patient sign a million forms prior to inform them there are risks.
Thorockmorton -off topic and you probably have seen these but if not.. they are interesting videos.

1st tow are Harvard law student vs Barney-1st one student interviewed by Greta:

If you haven't seen forewarned..may make your blood boil.

2004 dems covering up fannie/freddie:

Ha! Last night I wrote a long comment here but deleted it because I sidetracked into radiology and it was too long. Still long and so I understand if you delete it. :)

SeaSpray said...

One more thing. all the suing..just feels mean.

By that I mean because it seems anything is fair game for a lawsuit.

Teachers can be sued for Touching a child. They are not supposed to hug a child even.

They sue because God is mentioned anywhere in the education process..even praying coaches when the students want to pray with them. Why? because they are *offended*. Give me a break!

Or because something related to God is displayed on public property. They are *offended*. gee...the trauma they suffer must be tremendous.

Or when they are *offended* because the 10 commandments are displayed in a school that had them up for decades or in a government building. Gee.. they tell you not to kill, steal, etc. and that must be so *offensive*.

These people *offend* me and my rights feel trampled on.

You've pointed out pharma companies won't continue to make the drugs because of suits..and then where will we be?

You've pointed out how absurd the warnings are in directions that come with things we buy. Because someone will sue.

It all feels so mean, cold and heartless. And I feel sad about it.

Even in the medical arena..there is extra work because so much of the paper work is cya. And yes..some is important and raises the standards for better quality.

And then there are the people like the woman I described...who are ready to pounce on any opportunity to sue... trumped up and all.

No wonder doctors are squirrelly about law suits!

SnowLite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeaSpray said...

Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer: