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Maryland boy, 12, dies after bacteria from tooth spread to his brain

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posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 03:04 PM
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Clearly she can get 80 bucks from somehwere, and clearly the dentists office would work out a payment program if she couldn't afford it all at once.


Lets try this: go to your local dentist, advise them you're homeless and on welfare and have no money, and see how much luck you have working out a "payment plan"




posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 03:20 PM
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Emergency rooms won't always treat the poor. When I was bleeding to death back in 2004, the hospital reafused to even examine me because I'm low income. Female drs refused to even schedule me an appointment. I almost died. I bled nonstop for about a year. I was so weak from blood loss that when I'd go to the bathroom, I'd have to take a nap before I could get the strength to get to the couch. The way medicaid works here in Kentucky, you get assigned a primary care physician (PCP). The PCP has to give you a referal to see a specialist (which the female drs would be considered). The female drs REFUSED to even schedule me an appointment. I even went to emergency rooms out of town and pretended I didn't have insurance at all, but they'd put my social security number into their system and it was flagged as being a medicaid patient. This was the first clue I had that my social security number has been permanently flagged.

My PCP refused to give me a referal. I was told by doctor that "funerals are cheaper than hysterectomies." I finally got ahold of this one dr out of town and when the nurse answered the phone, before she could ask what insurance I had, I told her I am bleeding heavy and how long I had been bleeding and she was the first person who cared at all. She never asked what insurance I had and scheduled me right away. The doctor asked me why I hadn't taken care of the problem before then and I told him I had been trying and told him how no one where I was from would help me. He became very angry and I was afraid he was going to throw me out like everyone had done that year. Instead he patted my hand and told me not to worry about the money. He tried doing a d & c first and that didn't work. I was so weak from blood loss I just wanted it to be overwith and was going to beg him to do a hysterectomy at the next visit. I didn't have to. He informed me that I had a totally prolapsed uterus and that I would have to have the hysterectomy. He treated me very well and even paid for me to have an extra night in the hospital so I could rest. He is a rare person these days. I remember he was surprised I was still alive when I visited him. I had these bleeding problems since I was 13 and had developed knowledge of how to eat steak and other high iron foods and take iron pills and vitamins. I was bleeding so bad that time though that it really wasn't helping much towards the end. How could a caring doctor let someone bleed like that for so long? How could so many doctors out there not want to save a human life?

My teeth kept rotting so much over my life because I lost so much blood over the years. After that year in 2004 my teeth were extremely rotted.

My original PCP is out of business now. I won't go into how that came about here.

Emergency rooms often treat poor people like that. I live it first hand. Most of the doctors out there are like that. One of my neighbors was almost killed by that PCP dr. She had kidney infection and he kept prescribing her muscle relaxers. The neighbors saw how sick she was and chipped in to pay for a different doctor to examine her that works with poor people. (I had seen this dr during my problem, but the female drs wouldn't accept that as a referal since they weren't my PCP and medicaid refused to change my PCP.) She was hospitalized for a while from it. Her kidneys had turned septic and she came so close to dying. The emergency rooms had refused to help her until that one doctor got involved. She was a kind girl in her teens at the time. She hadn't harmed anyone. Having her pee in a cup and giving her antibiotics would have been alot cheaper than hospital care.

The mother in this story needs to move out of Maryland. That's one of the worst states she can be while she's homeless. The place is so expensive. She has her last son to think about.

I am sure the mother couldn't afford brain surgery. The taxpayers will be paying that. I would think it more cost effective to pay for preventive care for the poor than to keep paying for surgeries and hospital stays which result from lack of preventive care.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by wellwhatnow
First we have to assume the the parent(s) of this child did not know that the child would die from this. I brush my teeth very well, still I have had an abscess. It took months for me to get in to see a dentist, I didn't know my life could have been in danger while I waited.

Second, the boy complained of a headache and was taken to the emergency room where he was treated. Although the article doesn't say what medicine he was given, I think it's safe to assume that the medicine would have been an antibiotic. So, the mother didn't just ignore the boy until he dropped over.

Third, it's really hard to understand poverty unless you have been there. Poverty has a way of dehumanizing a person. Homeless shelters are not resorts. Imagine having to ask someone for toilet paper each time you use the restroom. Imagine having to make due with the small bit of toilet paper you are given each time. Imagine what kids say to you when you get on a school bus that stops at a homeless shelter. Imagine how it feels as a parent to watch that. Imagine seeing one of your children in pain and seeking help for him, and being told that you don't qualify.

The other child's tooth that doesn't seem too bad (that you certainly believe will not kill him) simply pales in comparison to getting clean clothes, safe places to sleep, school supplies, food, toilet paper, etc.


I have been in 3 battered women shelters and lived in a car while I was pregnant. It's something that people wouldn't understand unless they've been there.

From the article, the mother didn't know the boy had a problem at first because he didn't say. I've known kids like that. If the boy had complained more, it might have been caught sooner. It's easy to look at it in hindsight. Kids who've become accustomed to not having their needs met sometimes will not speak up when there's a problem.

There was a lady at the welfare center with me whose son was losing his hearing. Medicaid refused to pay for the simple outpatient surgery that would save his hearing. The doctor wanted a certain amount of money (large amount) by a deadline or he refused to treat him any longer. Her deadbeat soon-to-be-ex finally went to his parents and got the money just in time. Sure the kid wouldn't have died from going deaf, but he'd most likely remain in poverty much of his life. Small investments like that in a kid's future are invaluable. The mother ended up dropping out of school because of cancer. She was diagnosed first stage and medicaid refused to pay for treatment. She went to legal aid to force it through. By the time she got it through, it was either stage 3 or 4. I haven't heard from her in years. I think she's dead now. She really loved that little boy of hers.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 04:18 PM
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Before all of you go running to your dentist let me say that this event is less than 1% of normal infections. I deal with this every week in my lab. I don't encourage you to let a tooth sulcus to the point of nerve damage but just because you have a cavity doesn't mean your going to die from infection use some common sense. This case is clearly the fault of the parent. Yes she was was poor no she hadn't ran out of options because here in Maryland she could have applied for
www.dhr.state.md.us...
This is to ensure children have proper health care.
This is a clear example of a parent pushing the responsibilites of being a parent on the government?



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 04:36 PM
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Look, people die all the time for the most heartbreaking reasons. A pimple on some girl's nose goes septic, the infection goes to her brain, she dies. A big, strapping high school jock keels over at football practice and dies because of an undiagnosed aneurism. A toddler falls into a bucket of water and drowns. Yes, terrible little tragedies that occur many times, every single day... Could've been prevented? Maybe.

But you know what? It's no reason for a political crusade. A kid who dies from a bad tooth (a condition that is known to produce lethal results, by the way) is no reason to demolish our health care system and replace it with a substandard, socialized health care mess.

There's a reason why America's health care system is so expensive. It's because it's the best in the world, the best health care system that has ever existed in the history of humankind. It's the best because medical students here know they can make a lot of money by pursuing the profession, and they work their asses off to become the best in the world, to become worthy of the big bucks.

And there's nothing wrong or greedy or corrupt about that.

Look at the socialized healthcare elsewhere in the world. It's horrible. Uninspired. Backwards, even. If that kid with the toothache had lived in Canada, for instance, he would have died anyway just waiting in line to see a free physician. People who really need medical miracles don't flock to Canada, my friends. Canada is where you go to die if you're seriously ill. If you want a cure, you go to the USA.

The USA is where they perform medical magic. And, yes, for a price.

If we socialize American medicine, we'll cheapen it, we'll take away the incentive for excellence, then we can kiss the magic goodbye. That's just the way it is.

Yes, little kids and healthy adults and old people are going to die, and that is a sure bet. Nobody has gotten through life yet without dying. But here's one little corner of the earth where excellence is rewarded and where the truly hopeless have a chance to live another day because we reward excellence. It's worth the cost, I'm telling you — but if you try to give it away, you'll be closing the door on excellence, and you're going to kill even more people through substandard socialized healthcare.

— Doc Velocity



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 04:48 PM
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I pay for my dentistry without insurance.

Cry me a river.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 06:57 PM
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The death of any child is always heart-breaking. They are defenceless especially the younger they are. We are always passing all kinds of laws to protect them and programs to keep them healthy. And yes, the health insurance system needs work, but the quality of health care system itself is the best. We have the best doctors, medicines, and procedures in the world. That's why it's expensive. And don't forget lawsuits. Don't get me going on that. However, I don't think that's the core problem here. On their way to adulthood, it's the parents responsibility to teach children about life, drugs, crime, strangers and so forth including personal hygene. I have two little boys myself and I instill good hygene in them. And they are very healthy because of it. Yes, regular brushing doesn't prevent everything, but it helps a lot. I can assure you that I will not wait for my vehicle to break due to a simple oil change and then blame it on the high price of oil filters. I will do preventive maintenance to the best of my ability, and yes, eventually something will break, but at least not from something that was preventable. I know it's a crappy analogy, but the same applies here.
Self responsibility is the key here or lack of. Nothing and I mean nothing is going to stop me from taking care of my own children. If it means forgoing my pride and going to my next door neighbor to beg for a toothbrush so be it. Why do we need to look for someone to blame when something goes wrong? Sometimes we just have to look in the mirror. As hard as it is.
And before anyone says I don't understand, I grew up poor too. Heck, we didn't even have a real floor in the house I grew up in. We had a dirt floor. However, with hard work my parents made sure wehall made it. Did the mother try hard enough to find help? Maybe, maybe not. But before we answer that, answer this - why did she allow both of her kids to end up in such a bad situation?



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 09:33 PM
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Originally posted by Doc Velocity
There's a reason why America's health care system is so expensive. It's because it's the best in the world, the best health care system that has ever existed in the history of humankind. It's the best because medical students here know they can make a lot of money by pursuing the profession, and they work their asses off to become the best in the world, to become worthy of the big bucks.


Don't go boasting about something like that. I'm sure that other industrialised countries that have a just as good healthcare system as that of the U.S..

I didn't create this thread for "my truck is bigger than yours" posts.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 09:34 PM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
I pay for my dentistry without insurance.

Cry me a river.


Compassion is one of the most important character traits a person can have.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by kokoro
We have serious need for healthcare reform in this country.


You can start by asking your local government officials why the US gives soooooooo much money to Israel and could that money be better spent on local healthcare ?



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 09:37 PM
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Yep, some priorities (in healthcare) really have to be set straight in order to solve these problems.

Not only in the U.S., but in lots of other countries.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 09:39 PM
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Originally posted by dirty_underground

These kids had rotten teeth, not only did they have poor healthcare, they had poor hygeine because they were not properly cared for or taught to brush. If I didn't have adequate insurance I would make sure I was doing the necesary steps to prevent the problem. This does not sound like the case here. Sure we all may get cavaties occasionally, but we don't typically have 6 rotting teeth in our mouths.

I must stop here due to all the negative responses I will already recieve from my opinion.

[edit on 2/28/2007 by dirty_underground]


You have to take into account that not everyone is the same. It sounds like you had better luck with your teeth. You could brush 3 times a day and still get cavities. If you dont have regular dental checkups, many things can happen to your teeth that take months, even years sometimes to show up. I brush 3 times a day and I have had steller dental coverage early in my life. I went thru a period of time when I was too broke to afford dental coverage and didn't go for 4 years. When I did go, my wisdom teeth were impacted against my molars and I had to have surgury - to the tune of $1500. Because they had grown that way so slowly, I didn't realize the intense pressure it was putting on my jaw. I had also developed an abcess under one of the wisdom teeth - what prompted me to go to the dentist again after so long. Thank god they were able to fix me.

That being said, we do need to work on the health care issue in this country. I am all for capitalism and what not, but health care is a no brainer- especially considering how "ahead" of the rest of the world the US is supposed to be.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by TheBandit795
Yep, some priorities (in healthcare) really have to be set straight in order to solve these problems.

Not only in the U.S., but in lots of other countries.



I totally agree.

After all that's been said and done; Health is Wealth


[edit on 1-3-2007 by searching_for_truth]

[edit on 1-3-2007 by searching_for_truth]



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 09:42 PM
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Originally posted by dirty_underground

These kids had rotten teeth, not only did they have poor healthcare, they had poor hygeine because they were not properly cared for or taught to brush. If I didn't have adequate insurance I would make sure I was doing the necesary steps to prevent the problem. This does not sound like the case here. Sure we all may get cavaties occasionally, but we don't typically have 6 rotting teeth in our mouths.

I must stop here due to all the negative responses I will already recieve from my opinion.

[edit on 2/28/2007 by dirty_underground]


You have to take into account that not everyone is the same. It sounds like you had better luck with your teeth. You could brush 3 times a day and still get cavities. If you dont have regular dental checkups, many things can happen to your teeth that take months, even years sometimes to show up. I brush 3 times a day and I have had steller dental coverage early in my life. I went thru a period of time when I was too broke to afford dental coverage and didn't go for 4 years. When I did go, my wisdom teeth were impacted against my molars and I had to have surgury - to the tune of $1500. Because they had grown that way so slowly, I didn't realize the intense pressure it was putting on my jaw. I had also developed an abcess under one of the wisdom teeth - what prompted me to go to the dentist again after so long. Thank god they were able to fix me.

That being said, we do need to work on the health care issue in this country. I am all for capitalism and what not, but health care is a no brainer- especially considering how "ahead" of the rest of the world the US is supposed to be.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 10:15 PM
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Originally posted by helium3
You can start by asking your local government officials why the US gives soooooooo much money to Israel and could that money be better spent on local healthcare ?


The US gives money to a lot of other countries, not just Israel. Your statement implies that if the money wasnt given away to other countries that if WOULD be spent on health care for Americas poor, which is far from certain.

If you are so peeved about where we give money then by all means protest, write letters, ask your local government official but it is irrelevant to this thread.



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by dirty_underground

I am well aware of superbugs.

FYI people have been dying from abscess teeth since before the Middle Ages (long before Superbugs). This due to lack of oral hygeine! ...




This boy did not die of an abcessed tooth - he was receiving medical care for almost two months before he died - from January 11 to February 25.

The boy was treated medically when he needed dental care - which gave the infection time to spread to his brain - because medical care is covered, but dental care is not.

* On January 11 Deamonte came home from school complaining of a headache - and was given medication for "a headache, sinusitis and a dental abscess" at Children's Hospital.

* After getting sicker, he "eventually" had emergency brain surgery - then a second operation.

* His abcessed tooth was extracted only after two brain operations.

* His death certificate cites "meningoencephalitis" and "subdural empyema" - likely secondary to surgery and hospital-acquired infection.




www.msnbc.msn.com...

It was on Jan. 11 that Deamonte came home from school complaining of a headache. At Southern Maryland Hospital Center, his mother said, he got medicine for a headache, sinusitis and a dental abscess. But the next day, he was much sicker.

Eventually, he was rushed to Children's Hospital, where he underwent emergency brain surgery. He began to have seizures and had a second operation. The problem tooth was extracted.

After more than two weeks of care at Children's Hospital, ... He seemed to be mending slowly, doing math problems and enjoying visits with his brothers and teachers from his school, the Foundation School in Largo.

His death certificate listed two conditions associated with brain infections: "meningoencephalitis" and "subdural empyema."




We need to know the exact events and timeline, what infection was originally in his tooth, and what infection eventually killed him.



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 12:51 AM
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Originally posted by TheBandit795
Don't go boasting about something like that. I'm sure that other industrialised countries that have a just as good healthcare system as that of the U.S. I didn't create this thread for "my truck is bigger than yours" posts.

Where was this thread supposed to go if not to a discussion of health insurance/health care reform?

The opening text of this thread (from the Washington Post via MSNBC.com) comes straight out and blames this kid's death on the lack of health insurance:

"If his mother had been insured.
If his family had not lost its Medicaid.
If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find."


Which isn't even a news story, it's a pitch for reforming health care, is it not? What else does it say in this "news story"?

"Poor children are more than twice as likely to have cavities as their more affluent peers, research shows, but far less likely to get treatment."

"[Dentists] cite administrative frustrations dealing with the Medicaid bureaucracy and the difficulties of serving poor, often transient patients, a study by the state legislatures conference found."


So, this story is a pitch for reforming American health insurance, which necessarily means overhauling (read nationalizing) health care in the USA. And when you start arguing for socialized health care, you're talking about bringing down the standard of health care in this country.

And I'd like to know what other industrialized country has a level of health care that is the same as or is better than that of the USA. I measure in terms of how many people from around the world come to the United States for life-saving health care. They're not flocking to Canada, nor Great Britain, nor Cuba, nor Australia, nor the Former USSR, nor any of the other experiments in socialized health care.

Are you going to bust me down another 20 points for being argumentative now?

— Doc Velocity



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 01:35 AM
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bringing down the standard of health care in this country.


Then why does Canada have the 9th highest Life expectancy in the world? Please explain why Cuba's life expectancy is only about half a year behind the US? Explain why the UK is ahead.

Privatized Health Care is more Profitable than Socialized Health Care, but it sure isn't more effective. The numbers speak for themselves.

[edit on 2-3-2007 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 01:46 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Then why does Canada have the 9th highest Life expectancy in the world?

Because they just have to drive across the border for real health care. And they do.


Originally posted by sardion2000
Please explain why Cuba's life expectancy is only about half a year behind the US?

You explain it. Could it be because they have a tiny, tiny population, skewing the mortality numbers when compared to a nation of 300 million?


Originally posted by sardion2000
Explain why the UK is ahead.

You explain it. I don't believe the UK is ahead of the USA in anything, except perhaps in bad food, bad dentistry and bad television.


Originally posted by sardion2000
Privatized Health Care is more Profitable than Socialized Health Care, but it sure isn't more effective. The numbers speak for themselves.

What numbers? Show me where socialized health care is "more effective" than privatized health care.

— Doc Velocity



posted on Mar, 2 2007 @ 05:39 AM
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This link shows how different countries health care systems rank according to the World Health Organization:

Healthcare Rankings

Scroll past all those countries with national health programs, clear down to number 37 - there you will find the US.

PNHP (Physicians for a National Health Program) point out that health care in the US is not expensive because of quality, it’s expensive because of the advertising budget, insurance company bureaucracy, and paperwork.

PNHP




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