Monday, September 28, 2009

Protect your elderly - avoid Duke University Hospital

Readers of this blog have a sense that my dad (75 years old) has Stage 4 cancer (colon to liver) and suffered complications from chemotherapy.

In fact, in August 2008, Duke hospitalist Veshana Ramiah, MD ignored an infection on dad's left foot. That's a foot that underwent a standard ankle fusion in February 2008. Ramiah did not get the basic concept that an infection could have moved to the metal in the man's foot.

Now more than one year later, dad has an external fixator.

And the bone is not healing well. The surgeon recommended a "bone stimulator." Not a cheap gadget. But perhaps it could heal the man's compromised bone and allow him to enjoy his life!

I naively contacted Duke Risk Management and explained the problem. I explained that I did not want to be Duke's adversary. I explained that dad's orthopedic surgeon saved dad's life and I just wanted my dad to heal. I told Duke that they certainly did not have to admit liability. I begged Duke to help dad pay for the bone stimulator out of humanitarian reasons. I waited for Duke's response.

Enjoy the above letter from Duke that claims the man's foot to the left of the letter is just an ankle fusion!

Rationing of care by Duke? Take of care of your elderly.

p.s. My dad's name is not "Dr. Hardy" -- Duke added insult to the repeated injury by misspelling the man's name!

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