MO: Cox Health Brain Lab Tragedy Update

Posted on February 18, 2012


Springfield, MO – The local Springfield News-Leader ran this story today regarding the legal aftermath of the Cox Health Brain Lab Overradiation scandal that rocked this community two years ago. Some 27 of 66 cases filed have been settled; the others are a work in progress. Naturally, no details have been released; a gag order has been imposed on all parties, which is wrong. Hospitals should not be allowed to hide behind a confidentiality clause in this age of open media. Had we abolished confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements decades ago, I am certain patient safety wouldn’t be in the crisis state its in.  Remember, the Office of the Inspector General announced last summer that 1 in 3 patients admitted to a hospital in the US – for any reason – is harmed by the care they receive.

Now, every hospital in the country challenges the OIG’s statement and many will insist that patients are not harmed in their facilities. They would have you believe that all the bad happens at some 16-bed first aid station atop Mt. Hood. However, the OIG made no such distinction. I will restate: 1 in 3 patients who enter a US hospital is harmed by the care they receive. More than 1000 of them a day are killed by that care.

For further reading on the failure to report adverse events, I refer you to this report by the IOG released last month.