Complication Mortality Rates How's that for an obscure and impersonal term? Did you realize the subject of the complication mortality rates is one dealing with how many people die as the result of surgery and the quality of care mostly during and after surgery.It is no coincidence that the most important of these three subjects, pre-care, quality of surgery, and post-operative care, is the one gie shortest shrift, in direct opposition to the fact that pre-case has an exponentially greater affect on determining mortality rates - as well as disability downtime and other quality of life issues - than the other two subjects combined. We'll come back to the whys and details of pre-surgery care. First, let's start with initial numbers first. Even in the most advanced medical facilities in New York, with its highly experienced surgeons, a heart bypass patient is five times more likely to die as a result of that surgery than several other regions in the country. This poorly-phrased statistic only adds to the number of deaths that occur as the result of preventable error or incompetence. When you tell a heart-bypass candidate that he or she is five times more likely to die, they clearly do not understand that this means, in plainer English, that five times as many bypass patients actually do die in, for example, New York, than they do elsewhere in the country. One study of 272,000 heart bypass patients shows that only 1,776 patients were still alive after eight months. That means that 92 percent of the heart bypass patients in the U.S.dies in 200 days or less. This leads to the question of why people agree to this surgery in the first place. To begin with, surgeons are telling patients that if they do not get the bypass surgery, they will die anyway. Rather than seeking second opinions, or, far more importantly to their survivial rate, very few of these cardiac patients ever take the time or effort to learn more about how they can fix or ameliorate what's wrong with their cardiac system. Informal polling of more than a thousand bypass candidates shows a clear and distinct pattern on noninvolvement on the part of the patient! Noninolvement. What a foolish reason to die. Let's invest a minute or two looking at what "noninvolvement" actually means. Your understanding and response to this and similar definitions is likelty to impact just how long you live, and how poorly you are likely to die, not based on Medical journals talk about the difference between one and five percent mortality rates for heart bypass patients. Once again, you get to witness the presentation of lethally misleading information. An honest writer surely feels discomfort at the mere use of the word "misleading" because it's hardly strong enough to describe one of the largest and most common forms of unnecessary deaths in America. "Patently and intentionally false" is more like it, and here are some reasons for this. In discussing patient mortality for the arena of heart bypass, the only numbers you get to hear are the numbers of patients who actually die on the table or within a few hours of the surgery. These numbers are obviously important, because, in certain areas of the U.S., you find that death occurs in one of every one hundred patients on the table or soon thereafter. In other areas, the number of surgery complication mortality rate is two of every hundred, and so on. In several areas, perhaps most notably New York, an average of five out of every one hundred die while surgery is in progress or in post-op, which refers to the segregated care a patient receives in the 24 to 48 hours subsequent to surgery. When these numbers are bandied about and discussed, it is rare indeed to hear anyone mention the extension of those numbers, relating to how many people in the months subsequent to surgery. Again and again, no matter who you ask, nearly every human being whom you ask will tell you that their doctor is either "the best in (your state or region or seaboard)", or no less than "one of the best." Mathematically, fifty-one percent of the people who make that statement are automatically wrong, because their doctor is in the bottom forty-nine percent, performance-wise, in terms of their actual, factual, measurable results. Is this another case of pride going to the fall? Doesn't seem to matter whether the doctor being described has a kindly or gruff bedside manner, nor does it matter, as we see from the raw numbers of mortality complication rates; no matter what circumstances apply, almost every one of us believes that our own doctor is "one of the best in the state of _________" By sharing the reasons for this, there is a higher probability of more people living longer as the result of knowing more... and then doing ee tiniest bit more. Yes, pride is one factor, although it's probably less influential than the perceptual factor. The pride in this case comes from not wanting to be so wrong about something so vital: the decisions involving life and death. Choosing a poor doctor increases the likelihood of sickness and too early a death, and only a stupid person would consciously chooose a poorly performing doctor. Who wants to be viewed by their community at large as an idiot, without sufficient sense to use a doctor who has a higher record of success. Because we are so trained and inclined to be defensive and automatic in responding, we repeat the statement - whether we know it to be factually correct or otherwise - so many times that we come to accept it as reality. Surely you know that any lie you repeat to yourself enough times becomes fixed and certain in your memory as fact. Your Doctor's Mortality Complication Rate Even you have to admit that you have never once done a factual check on your doctor's performance. For those who have experienced surgery personally or had a family member do so, you never once looked up that doctor's record to see the actual performance record of their practice, did you? The question to you is simple. If you did a title search on your house before you bought it to make sure that no one had liens on it, and that the person selling you the house actually owned it and had the right to sell it to you; if you give consideration to the quality of schools in the area by asking questions before making a decision; if you take even seconds to look at a food label or drug contraindication sheet, whyever do you not look at the labels attached to your doctor's performance record? Even more than general practitioners, the vital importance of you looking up your proposed surgeon's record can hardly be overstated or exaggerated. Your surgeon's performance record, including their complication mortality rate, is certain to have an impact upon your probabilities of surviving or not surviving the surgery, and wielding enormous influence on whether you heal well or speedily or slowly or not at all. That's worth restating: your doctor's complication mortality rate is certain to influence whether you live or die, and how well or poorly you heal, if at all. You cannot licitly claim ignorance. With residential phone calls now averging four cents or less per call, it won't even cost you a dime to find out if your proposed surgeon is likely to help you or to accelerate your inevitable death. CALL YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY if you must! Of course, if you're mobile, you'll probably help your heart keep you alive longer and stronger should you actually put on your coat and WALK to your local library. All public library systems in America have free internet access. You don't even need to know how to use the internet! You have a solid guarantee that every public library in America with internet access has people who are entirely capable of typing your question into a web browser or a search engine to ask one question with three words: complication mortality rate. Then, based on which selection you choose from the list that immediately appears, you will soon be typing your doctor's name and finding out what you need to know. Summarizing this pride factor is simple, so you're invited to immediately consider your own involvement in your medical decisions as well as those for whom you may be responsible. In conversation, we answer automatically that our doctor is one of the best. Because we do not actually know if they are among the best or not, we literally risk our very lives by not knowing the answer. This is one reason why the U.S. continues to suffer more than four thousand hospital error and other iatrogenic deaths each and every week. Iatrogenic, as you might know, means, "given to the patient by the doctor." Every sick patient in the country gets to improve that tragic number with nothing more or less than a few minutes of actual research. As noted elswhere in the Longevity Zen of Health :What do you call the medical student who graduates last in their class? Now, let's move into a larger influence on complication mortality rates that give lie to the most commonly broadcast statistics. This influence demonstrates that any hospital or region claiming "only" a one percent or five percent mortality rate