Editor, The News:
Re: Contract talk enough to put you to sleep (Health Care, Sept. 2).
In this article, Dr. Marco Terwiel asks the important question: Did the patients in our local hospital receive inferior anesthesia service?
He answers his question with, “Absolutely not.”
In my experience, his response to the above question is completely wrong.
A more accurate answer would be, “Yes, sometimes.”
On May 30, 1986, my 20-year-old daughter, Kari Lynn Boivin, was scheduled to have exploratory surgery due to severe abdominal pain. Kari had a well-documented history of not being able to be administered general anesthetic, but of responding well to spinal anesthetic procedure.
Prior to her surgery on May 30, 1986, this medical history was communicated clearly from myself, Kari, Kari’s long-time family physician, the surgeon, and nurses to a family physician who had been chosen to perform the anesthetic procedure on Kari that day.
Still, my daughter died.
With the facts in mind, it seems rather obvious to state that the correct answer to another question posed by Dr. Terwiel – “ … should you be worried?”
In regards to allowing a family physician rather than a trained anesthesiologist to administer to you would be: “Yes.”
But, perhaps even more important than being worried, we should all be properly educated about an issue that is as potentially life-threatening as this.
With all due respect, Dr. Terwiel, your article indicates a lack of research into such serious questions such as, “How many people have died in Ridge Meadows Hospital at the hands of family physicians administering anesthetic?”
We know that at least one precious human life has been lost due to this exact circumstance.
I am writing this today because I do not want another family to have to be told that the issue of a family physician rather than a specialized anesthesiologist administering anesthetic to their loved one is not a concern.
I do not want another family to have to live in the horror, pain, and suffering of loosing a loved one due to a completely preventable reason.
Dr., Terwiel, perhaps after careful consideration of this true account of tragic loss of life shared with you now, you may want to change your view that “… the family physicians [that] were perfectly safe to give an anesthetic for routine procedures (and cheaper too)”.
Perhaps you may also want to change the title of your article to something more suitable, such as: “Contract talk enough to save human life.”