Just when we thought it was safe to go back to the ER, there is now an emerging reality that your next trip to the hospital could kill you. In the midst of the political wrangling spurred by the highly controversial health care reform legislations, the debate rages on as to the quality of health care here in the United States. And, while there is plenty of evidence to show that a person who needs a lung transplant would fare much better in the U.S. than say, Canada, there’s a growing concern that our hospitals are turning into death traps for the masses.
Long suspected (and little discussed) the dirty little secret is that our nation’s hospitals have turned into breeding grounds for mutant diseases and infections that have become impervious to even the most advanced antibiotics. Couple this unsettling fact with the alarming rate of deaths caused by malpractice, incompetence, over-medication, under-treatment and avoidance of preventative medicine, it’s not difficult to believe that our hospitals now rank as one of the leading causes of death among all Americans.
Consider these startling facts:
The CDC reports that each year nearly 2,000,000 hospital patients develop some sort of infection and that nearly 5% of those cases end in death!
Deaths due to improper or mistaken medications increase by 10% each summer at medical school hospitals. Why? That’s when freshly graduated med students take over the ERs and ICUs of those hospitals.
Understaffing of overburdened ERs have led to a doubling of the wait times which, for patients that require immediate attention, can mean life or death.
During the recent health care reform debates, there was a lot of discussion of the importance of preventative care and practices that could, ultimately, result in lower costs and improved quality of care. The sad truth is that neither the Health Care Reform Act nor the current state of our health care system effectively addresses preventative care.
Anyone who is the least bit concerned with the dangers that lurk in the beds and halls of our hospitals should be undertaking a thorough and deliberate preventative care plan in earnest. It shouldn’t take a world-ending disaster to realize that the best way to stay alive is to maintain optimum health so as to minimize any chance of a needing a hospital stay.
Your Preventative Health Care (Hospital Prevention) Regimen
Eat healthy. This means developing a meal plan that includes a nutritionally balanced diet with special attention to your caloric intake. Eliminate carcinogens and increase antioxidants. Increase intake of healthy fats (at the expense of bad fats).
Stay hydrated. Your body, which is 95% water, needs constant replenishment to keep cells, joints, bones, muscle and organs properly hydrated.
Get fit. Exercise – both cardio and strength training – is essential to building the body’s defenses against heart disease, aging and injury.
Keep a sound mind. Maintaining a strong mental capacity along with a consistent peace-of-mind is essential to reducing stress while staying sharp. Read and meditate regularly.
Get 8 hours. More studies indicate that a lack of sleep (or too much) leads to weight gain, increased stress, and a weak immune system. Why risk it, when all you need is 8 hours of sleep? If you have trouble getting your 8, solve the problem.
Your preventative care (hospital prevention) regimen needs to become a religious practice for as long as you walk the earth. If you do find yourself in need of a transplant, be sure to check the hospital’s infection rates and avoid medical school hospitals in July.
Other articles in this issue:
- Is Your Arsenal Up to the Task? 
- For Nutrition on the Run – Eat Like Davey Crockett 
- Intro to Chicken Farming