Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another Sort of Veteran’s Day Story

Yikes. Under Britain’s socialized medical system, even if you’ve had a fall nasty enough to warrant X-rays, there may not be anyone around to read them.

That’s what happened to Hugh Jackson who took a bad tumble in his yard, hit his head on an apple tree and knocked himself out. Although the hospital took X-rays, they sent him home with painkillers. Sometime the next day a radiologist finally read the X-rays and sent an ambulance racing to Mr. Jackson’s home for what was a potentially life-threatening situation.  He was then immobilized on his back for five days. Unfortunately, he also had a lung disease which made immobility on his back counter-indicative: certainly not without adequate respiratory therapy treatments.

Sadly, Mr. Jackson died a few weeks later from the lung complications. An inquest determined that the cause of death was “natural causes.”

Maybe natural in Britain. Let’s hope they don’t become “natural” here as well.

By the way, Mr. Jackson was an 87 year old Royal Air Force WWII Veteran. But they did give him painkillers.