Maternal Morbidity Costs Top $3.4 Billion A Year In United States
December 24, 2017
The rate of life-threatening complications for new mothers in the U.S. has more than doubled in two decades as a result of pre-existing conditions, medical errors and unequal access to care.
Source: Maternal Morbidity Costs Top $3.4 Billion A Year In United States : Katherine Ellison and Nina Martin, Propublica & NPR
The Heroism of Incremental Care
April 2, 2017
We devote vast resources to intensive, one-off procedures, while starving the kind of steady, intimate care that often helps people more.
“We have a certain heroic expectation of how medicine works. Following the Second World War, penicillin and then a raft of other antibiotics cured the scourge of bacterial diseases that it had been thought only God could touch. New vaccines routed polio, diphtheria, rubella, and measles. Surgeons opened the heart, transplanted organs, and removed once inoperable tumors. Heart attacks could be stopped; cancers could be cured. A single generation experienced a transformation in the treatment of human illness as no generation had before. It was like discovering that water could put out fire. We built our health-care system, accordingly, to deploy firefighters. Doctors became saviors. But the model wasn’t quite right. If an illness is a fire, many of them require months or years to extinguish, or can be reduced only to a low-level smolder. The treatments may have side effects and complications that require yet more attention. Chronic illness has become commonplace, and we have been poorly prepared to deal with it. Much of what ails us requires a more patient kind of skill.”
Source: The Heroism of Incremental Care – Atul Gawande, The New Yorker