Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Reader Writes About Versed

Here's another untouched letter from a reader and fellow Versed sufferer.
I continue to wonder at just WHY the medical establishment condones the use--or rather misuse and overuse--of Midazolam (Versed ) as is commonly done today?

There must be a good reason, right? Maybe it's just plain bad luck I had an awful experience. Perhaps in the big picture, Midazolam is really a Good Thing, but I just can't see it because it's over my head. I don't work in a hospital, so how can I really know what goes on from the other side's perspective? Or maybe I need to realize I am in fact just one of "those people" who are pains in the a*sses, crazies, over-sensitive types. It would be almost be a relief to believe one of the above statements as it could explain it all away. But no matter how open-minded or self-deprecating I try to be, common sense and logic get in the way and I continue to ask "Why?".

I understand one use of Versed can be to promote the intubation process (i.e. placing a breathing tube down your windpipe), supposedly along with other drugs, but that does not explain WHY they are giving it so early on in the pre-op process or why they so often misrepresent Versed's real effects to the patient. And yes, Midazolam is a money maker for sure, but so are other drugs. It's widely known that Versed is commonly used NOT FOR ANXIETY but for the convenience of the medical staff (being exceptionally fast-acting, etc.) And what about the many patients who unexpectedly did not suffer amnesia or full amnesia from Versed remembering not receiving adequate pain killers? Could that be it? They are spending on one drug to save on others? Even that terrible thought still seems to be not enough of a reason to explain the "why?".

The only overall answer that appears to makes sense is:

They say a certain amount of secrecy is necessary for doctors, nurses and medical students to do their jobs, to learn, etc.. That can be said for ANY organization, and does have some legitimacy--to a point. But how much secrecy is really necessary? And at what cost to the patients? And who is deciding ?

I am reminded of the horrors behind the secrecy of the Catholic Church. For decades, it was the perfect environment for abusive individuals to target, exploit and run rabid in as violations of their victims were more likely to be covered up than punished and protection for the vulnerable was virtually non-existent.

Who is protecting patients from potential abuses in hospitals? And can they really be objective? An environment such as this requires exceptional oversight to protect the vulnerable. We're talking about likely sick and already-suffering people, not about having your car serviced. There have to be alternatives.

The medical community has clearly overreached, to put it mildly, in terms of what they think they have a right to do to patients in the so-called name of expediency, research, etc. because of the cover offered by fine print buried in paperwork and drugs like Versed (and who knows what else). And we haven't even talked about what is done when you are fully unconscious, although some thoughts below overlap that as well.

As this blog has mentioned, Versed, and so secrecy, can and are used to help hide mistakes and also violations of ethics. This includes but is not limited to violations of patient privacy and dignity, both mind and body. HIPPA is a huge joke. I had no idea the following took place prior to my operation and I suspect most don't as well:

Most people do not know they may be being broadcast to remote locations to groups of people during their operations. Groups separate from the operating room, and of course the technical staff managing the video streaming, all have visual and likely audio access to the patient. And what is done with the recordings in the future? I have read that yes, faces are often recognizable, that the recordings may start very early (pre-op) and draping (or rather the lack of draping) is often ignored. OR TV, even when done right, should be opt-in only, not shrouded in secrecy and done without your knowledge.

They are not just "observers". That is a lie. Students are likely handling you and commonly penetrating your orifices (male or female), for practice, while you are unable to object. You are expected to forget, regardless. Horribly disturbing when you have been drugged and can't stop it and never knowingly consented to it. And of course outside of a hospital, this would be defined as rape.

Very possibly a high ranking administrative staff member could just pop by " to keep an eye on things", including you, half naked and talking under the influence of Versed (if not yet fully under), helpless to protest under the bright lights. This happened so often at one hospital the nurses finally got together to object, saying it violated patient privacy and the surgical field (sterilization). It didn't change much, unfortunately:
Or a doctor unrelated to your surgery, perhaps from another hospital, could stop in. Sadly, you may be helping to ensure someone's vacation is expensed as a business trip because even though they were not medically necessary, they entered your operating room without your consent.

Having had a bad experience, I know I cannot be completely objective, but I am trying hard to be fair regardless. I'm sure there are those that have not been lied to about Versed, even "love it", and/or had very caring, sensitive caregivers. I'm not out to demonize all of the hard-working, ethical, good-hearted doctors and nurses out there.

But my experience was not a good one. I wince when remembering my childlike trust prior to the operation. I feel nauseous remembering how they gave me Versed though I had said I did not feel anxious. I remember how puzzled I was noticing how social niceties stopped after they gave me the Versed, having no idea what it would do to me. I remember the fear, terror, months of nightmares and more that came after Versed. While I may have moved on, I will never be the same.

Regardless of experiences, the issues around medical care noted need serious attention. Of course, people want to get their operations done, heal, move on and not think about what may have happened. Life is too short and all that. But stripping patients of their rights and violating their privacy should NOT be tolerated just because they signed a form consenting to have an operation.

An objective party needs to be in place to protect patients from abuses. For now, you can hire a patient advocate (not affiliated with a hospital). But in the larger picture medical establishment SOPs need to be reviewed and overseen by a truly objective third party to ensure patient safety, dignity and privacy.


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