Press Release: Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them By Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tammy Blake

 Crown Archetype Publicity

Phone: 212.572.2542

Email: TBlake@randomhouse.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t become a statistic! From diagnostic disasters to deadly drug interactions,

the bestselling authors of The People’s Pharmacy expose the alarming epidemic

of medical mistakes in America—and offer a lifesaving prescription

to make the healthcare system safe again.

TOP SCREWUPS DOCTORS MAKE

AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

 

By Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.

 

  “Historically there has been a culture of cover-up in medicine. This ‘wall of silence’ has been very effective at keeping mistakes secret. … No other profession could get away with so many screwups and still maintain public confidence.”—From the Introduction

What’s the third leading cause of death in America? Healthcare. According to eye-opening research by top patient advocates Joe and Teresa Graedon, at least 500,000 Americans die each year as a result of a healthcare system that breeds medical screwups. At half a million victims, that’s right behind heart disease (631,636) and cancer (559,888)—and all the more tragic because common sense could have prevented most of those medical mistakes. But it doesn’t have to be this way: The Graedons are on a mission to heal the system with TOP SCREWUPS DOCTORS MAKE AND HOW TO AVOID THEM (Crown Archetype; On Sale October 4, 2011; Hardcover; $26.00).

 When Joe Graedon’s mother died at Duke Hospital in 1996 after multiple staff mistakes—including failure to read her chart, failure to give crucial information to a night-shift intern, and failure to prevent a fall—the Graedons had all the evidence for a successful lawsuit, but instead they decided to try to fix the system, serving on Duke’s Patient Advocacy Council and on a committee reporting to the board. Today, Duke is ranked among the ten best hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Determined to make their revolutionary strategies available to everyone, they’ve written a book that will serve as a wake-up call for healthcare workers and patients alike. Starting with handy Safe Patient tips, TOP SCREWUPS DOCTORS MAKE AND HOW TO AVOID THEM is packed with unforgettable true stories, little-known statistics, and hands-on advice for all readers. Crucial checklists include:

Top 10 Screwups Doctors Make: From overlooking lab results to ignoring patient lifestyle issues, readers will be shocked to discover just how prone to mistakes their trusted physicians can be. Readers will also discover the Top 10 Reasons Why Doctors Screw Up Diagnoses, including information overload (a severe problem in the twenty-first century) and hurried hand-offs when a patient’s records are passed from one doctor to another. 

Top 10 Steps to Stopping Screwups in Hospitals: A fifty-year-old man was admitted to the hospital with chest pains. He was put on an anticoagulant, in case he was having a heart attack. A correct diagnosis was eventually made (inflamed gall bladder) and he underwent surgery. However, no one reversed the previous diagnosis, so he continued receiving an anticoagulant, causing him to bleed internally and die after surgery. Hospital horror stories like these abound. With the Graedons on their side, readers will learn to overcome the fear of being “too pushy” or “too nosy” when interacting with hospital staff. Speaking up and saying no can make the difference between life and death.  

Top 10 Screwups Doctors Make When Prescribing: The booming pharmaceutical industry has led to a boom in risky drug interactions, side effects, and other complications. The Graedons bridge the gap between doctors and drug companies with breakthrough pointers, including how to help your doctor tell the difference between an illness and a side effect of a prescription drug. 

• Top 10 Screwups Pharmacists Make: Drawing on their years of expertise in pharmacology, the Graedons reveal the day-to-day errors that can occur behind the pharmacy counter as well as the endemic problems with the FDA. In one of many troubling cases, the authors uncovered significant FDA missteps in testing the generic form of the anti-depressant Wellbutrin XL 300. Despite this evidence, and heartbreaking stories from patients who suffered bad reactions to the generic version, generic drugs are projected to control 85 percent of the marketplace within the next decade. But there’s help: the Graedons offer an easy-to-understand Drug Safety Questionnaire to present to doctors and pharmacists. 

Top 10 Tips to Surviving Old Age: Geriatric care is the least profitable and least popular med-school specialty, yet this growing population needs and deserves to be treated by experts trained in the physiology of senior citizens. Instead, they often languish from the side effects of countless unnecessary medications, a poor substitute for real medical care. The Graedons share important tips and dozens of resources (including geriatrician Mark Beers’s landmark list of drugs older people should avoid). 

Top 10 Screwups Patients Make: Featuring strategies to make every second count in a visit to the doctor’s office, along with important questions to ask before agreeing to surgery, this chapter empowers patients to be true partners in the healthcare process. 

Top 10 Tips to Promote Good Communication: Patients who know what to say and how to ask will get the best care. The Graedons take it a step farther, with advice for becoming your own Bureau of Vital Statistics, creating a lifelong history of all medical tests, medications, and other important information, so it can be easily tracked and retrieved. 

TOP SCREWUPS DOCTORS MAKE AND HOW TO AVOID THEM also covers top screwups in common conditions, including ADD, arthritis, diabetes, migraines, and many others. With too many patients, too much data, and too little accountability, our “health scare” system is making us sick. An inspiring call for change, the Graedons’ proven action plan is destined to put us on the road to recovery.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

JOE GRAEDON holds a master of science in pharmacology and is one of the country’s leading consumer pharmacology experts. His wife, TERESA GRAEDON, holds a Ph.D. in medical anthropology. Together, they are bestselling coauthors, syndicated newspaper columnists, and hosts of an award-winning internationally syndicated radio show. Visit their website at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com or: www.TopScrewUps.com.

 

TOP SCREWUPS DOCTORS MAKE AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

By Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.

Crown Archetype • Hardcover • ISBN 978-0-307-46091-2 • $26.00 •

On Sale October 4, 2011

 

For more information on the book or the authors, please contact Tammy Blake in the Crown Archetype publicity department at (212)572.2542 or Tblake@randomhouse.com