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Published: 10/14/2012

UTMC reputation hurt by fiasco

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Sufficient safeguards should have been in place at the University of Toledo Medical Center to prevent the negligent tragedy that occurred (“Changes in place after botched surgery; Failed kidney transplant at UTMC prompts new safeguards,” Oct. 7).

Patients and their families are aware that mistakes can happen in medicine. But what happened at UTMC was far more than just a mistake and far more than “baffling,” as the hospital’s paid consultant, Dr. Marlon Levy, put it. It was not something that would have been anticipated by any donor or intended recipient.

It is insensitive of UT President Lloyd Jacobs to talk of any silver lining in the tragedy that UTMC bestowed upon the family. The university’s reputation has been irreparably damaged. New policies and dismissal of a nurse — and the resignation of another — aren’t sufficient to address this disgrace.

Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Jeffrey Gold, the UTMC chancellor and vice president for biosciences and health affairs, need to be relieved of their duties for what took place at an institution over which they exercise absolute control and thus have absolute accountability. I cannot in good faith ever again refer a patient to that medical center.

DR. CHRISTOPHER HALASY

Perrysburg

 

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Questions arise about procedure

I read about various mechanical devices that will be used so that this cannot happen again. These options seem to be a back-door approach to several dominant problems.

Are surgeons at this hospital able to choose a team to assist them in surgery? It does not appear to me that they do. How can a surgeon be asked to assume responsibility for an entire room and not have confidence in the training or the background of the people he or she has to work with?

A second point, raised by The Blade’s Sept. 27 editorial “Losing track,” is that hospitals that use a simple checklist system have found their medical mistakes plummet. These are common-sense questions. It will be interesting to hear the answers.

CELINDA NIGGEMYER

Ottawa Hills

 

Why did surgical staff take a break?

Why were any of the participants in the botched kidney transplant allowed to go on break before the procedure was completed? Apparently that’s the norm.

WILLIAM BURKHARDT

Heatherdowns Boulevard

 

Dizziness also a factor in falls

Kudos to The Blade for your Sept. 23 article “Falls aren't just an issue for the elderly.” An area that was not discussed was dizziness as a major cause of falls among people of all ages, but particularly in the geriatric population.

As an otolaryngologist who has specialized in dizziness for more than 30 years, I can say that a serious fall is the worst scenario for the dizzy patient. Dizziness may present itself as balance problems, vertigo (sensation of the environment moving), or lightheadedness.

We have the methodology to evaluate the dizzy patient and often predict the likelihood of a fall.

DR. ALLAN RUBIN

Springfield Township

 

Political TV ads? Use mute button

At this time of the political season, it seems that politicians are the only advertisers on TV. Thank God for the mute button.

JIM MARKIN

Sylvania



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