Leg Amputation and No Opioids Afterward

Fox Part 4 | Tough new opioid policies leave some cancer and post-surgery patients without painkillers – By Elizabeth Llorente | Fox News –  December 12, 2018

I’m shocked that some who call themselves a medical professionals can believe that the aftermath of an amputation does not require opioid pain medication, but that’s exactly what happened:

Despite protestations that new federal and state hard lines on painkiller prescriptions do not affect cancer patients or people fresh out of major surgeries, many of those in health care’s trenches feel differently.  

Dr. Dan Laird was treating an elderly man in Nevada who, despite efforts by the physicians and other doctors to save his leg, ended up having to undergo an amputation. “He lost the battle, his leg was cut off,” Laird said.

A week after the surgery took place, the man called Laird in agony and desperation.

He had been discharged from the Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas with no painkiller prescription.

“No pain medication!” Laird told Fox News in an interview. “Having a limb amputated is one of the most painful things you can have done. And the tibia is one of the most painful parts of the leg. He had unimaginable, horrific pain. I was so mad, I called the hospital.”

They said that the new [Nevada] law means we can’t prescribe to patients when we discharge them,” Laird said, recalling what he said he was told

But Laird is also a malpractice attorney – and knew the state law chapter and verse.

A spokesperson for the hospital contacted by Fox News did not offer comment for the story.

Hospitals don’t want to be held accountable for the suffering they are causing their “patients”.

Can we even call it “health care” when pain relief is withheld deliberately?

In his 25 years of practicing medicine, Laird said, “I’ve never seen anything like this, an environment where it’s acceptable to mistreat chronic pain patients, where there’s an animus toward chronic pain patients.”

“Opioids are dangerous drugs. They have to be prescribed with extreme caution,” he said. “But for people who’ve had their leg cut off, or someone who has cancer, or has been in a bad car crash, there’s nothing worse than leaving them in pain.”

In Michigan, Dr. Fran Van Alstine, a specialist in palliative and hospice care at the Munson Medical Center, has also seen how far the long arm of the war on opioids can reach.

The state has a 14-day day limit on opioid prescriptions, even for patients like his, who have advanced cancer, chronic lung disease, congestive heart failure.

He said he recently had to jump through hoops to get a painkiller refill for a terminally ill patient who was released from a hospital, and about to enter hospice care.

The insurer denied the prescription because the man’s medication record showed “red flags” – opioids prescribed by more than one doctor, at high dosages.

The man died 24 hours after finally getting a refill — spending his final days in pain.

This is my ultimate nightmare: dying in pain when it’s so absolutely unnecessary. I cannot understand why a human being would deny relief like this.

We are dealing with a truly amoral, unprincipled, financially motivated healthcare system now.

This system follows the anti-opioid zealotry to align with current cultural trends without any consideration for collateral damage to patients – or even hard science.

25 thoughts on “Leg Amputation and No Opioids Afterward

    1. peter jasz

      A legal challenge.

      In fact, a Class Action Lawsuit for (brutal,disturbing, unfathomable) Crimes Against Humanity.

      A great start. Deeply, desperately demanded -and long, long overdue.

      pj

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. peter jasz

    Opiates (medical): Make sure you know its efficacy/potency -and where to find it, by all and any means …

    Understand (no word-mincing), the story presented here is nothing short of (abhorrent) Crimes Against Humanity -perpetrated by those obliged to help eliminate pain/suffering.
    If you/we believe physician’s/hospital’s have our best interests at heart, you are (potentially) setting yourself up for a nightmarish, punishing learning curve -if you even make it that far.

    I’m speaking of, and to, those who suffer with grueling pain. Needlessly. And endlessly. If we should be unfortunate enough to desperately need strong/effective PK’s, and make no mistake there are many sickly, devastating, grueling pain conditions/states far in excess of typical ‘end-of-life’ and ‘cancer’ profiles often associated with opiate use, you’ll be prepared -and hopefully have protocols in place.
    The alternative, is barely survivable -if at all. We should, we must remind ourselves of the poor souls who ended their own entire existence as such chronic pain states are simply far too punishing, and unrelenting, to endure.
    Medical science knows this, but for some sociopathic reason(s), such critical information is withheld from the public knowledge. The purposely misinformed, uninformed public would be none-the-wiser -believing physician’s/hospitals will always do the right (humane) thing. They won’t -and certainly are NOT obliged to, much to the surprise (and chagrin) of those who desperately need them the most. It’s an ugly reality, but a reality. Punishingly so.

    Don’t get caught after-the-fact; learning of the How, Where’s and Why’s of this unimaginable nightmare/indifference and shirking of (medical professional) duty, responsibility and indeed (rightfully) obligation that has proven does, and will go, unfulfilled. All of this while you’re hanging on to dear life/sanity itself. It’s too much.
    In such cases, we MUST be proactive -not reactive. If we decide to wait (/pay no heed) -it may very well prove, too late.

    Good luck to all,

    peter jasz

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      I hope to spread the word with this outrageous example of anti-opioid hysteria. It’s so extreme that even the uninformed public can agree this war on opioids has gone too far.

      I hope it spreads panic as even people without current pain contemplate their medical future and realize that calling 911 after a horrific injury only begins the torture.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Bayless Jan

    Thank you for bringing this to light. I’m an RN and have been a pain patient (dc tibia).This is inhuman and should be shouted far and wide. What is behind this? Please find our. This is an atrocity!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      What’s behind this is the anti-opioid hysteria spread by PROP and its champion, A. Kolodny. They pushed the CDC to issue those awful opioid prescribing guidelines which were surreptitiously authored by PROP.

      Now these “guidelines” suggesting caution about starting opioids, further caution at doses of 50MME and more caution at doses of 90MME are being used as though they are scientifically proven dose limits, which they are not at all. To read more posts about this abomination, see https://edsinfo.wordpress.com/tag/cdc-guidelines/

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. canarensis

        “Abomination.” Excellent word.

        I’ve been trying to spread this as much as possible, but still notice that the only people that react or share it are –you guessed it, pain patients. All those civilians continue to keep their heads firmly in the sand. Vile tho it is, I find myself hoping they all get into accidents or are otherwise injured so that they, too, can learn what life it like for us…except our torture is ongoing & permanent.

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
        1. peter jasz

          (RE: ” …All those civilians continue to keep their heads firmly in the sand. “)

          Simply because they (pain-less civilians) have no idea, clue, understanding nor suffer from pain so unimaginable in severity; incredibly nasty, vicious, unrelenting, life destroying it drives sufferer’s to madness.
          If ‘they’ could live the ‘suffering’ for 1-4 hours (think a pain-inducing pill) it would be understood -in no uncertain terms. Other than that, the public must be informed by medicine/society that there are many pathological central nervous system tissue injury/disease (among other causes) that results in well understood, vile-pain conditions unrelenting in its attack/destruction of human tissue (and human spirit).
          Once “lived”, or informed, the public would speak up -in horrified acknowledgment. BUT, when Joe Public hears of Cancer/End-of-Life patients the only ones considered for opiate therapy, they make assumptions that they’re given the truth/facts by the medical community (or media); they’re not given accurate information. Far from it.
          So unless such horrific pain/suffering is ‘experienced’ (mercifully most won’t), the general public simply doesn’t realize such vicious, unrelenting pain conditions exist. Can’t blame them. Far from it.

          peter jasz

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          1. canarensis

            hm. and yet I do blame them. I haven’t lost any limbs, nor am I blind or have any of a zillion other dire conditions, nor am I a member of a prejudiced-against minority (well, actually I am), but I can (& do) believe they exist & try to imagine life with them, & I don’t condemn them for whining or faking them. Why should I not blame the deliberately ignorant who condemn me when they don’t know wtf they’re talking about? I have no sympathy for willful stupidity; maybe all those decades in science have warped my perspective, but I believe in evidence, not “beliefs,” & the Church of Opiophobia is nothing but an extremist religion of zealots & bigots.

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
  3. Michael J. Maltese

    WHY are no lawyers willing to stand up and start a class action lawsuit? Lawyers have championed much harder topics, yet everyone seems terrified to take on the God UN-holy DEA. How long are we going to be tortured by the system. I know this first hand as I had two surgeries at once with NO pain relief afterwards. It was the most unbelievable experience of my life!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
      1. canarensis

        Zyp; as usual, you’re right on. Maybe if we could flood the media with stories of “normal”* people being tortured, the rest of the “civilians”* would finally wake up & realize that they’re also in the cross hairs. Tho TBH, i’ve about given up hope that anything will prompt a groundswell of sanity among the willfully oblivious & ignorant.

        *i.e. non-chronic pain sufferers

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
    1. peter jasz

      Hi Michael: Excellent question. The same one that I have: I simply cannot understand why these grave crimes are not yet firmly rooted in the political/judicial “system”. That, in itself, is a crime.

      pj

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Kathy Humphrey

    On July 22nd of 2018 my 69 year old husband was burned in a race car. He was on fire for up to 5 minutes while they got an extinguisher from the concession stand. He was burned 75% of his body. He was in a major burn until intensive care for 5 months then a step down unit for 3 weeks then transferred to a rehab center for a month. He had 18 skin grafts, was on a vent for months, the first 3 months he was so sedated and hanging between this world and the next. He was on continuous kidney dialysis the entire time he was in the ICU. Wound care for burns is horrendous, they have to scrape of the dead skin continuously. He ended up having to have 4 fingers amputated on his right hand and 1 on the left. His fingers were completely black from the burns. His tendons were exposed on his hands and his feet. The hands were the last surgery they did on him because they weren’t sure if they would have to amputate his hands completely. When he was released from the rehab to come home he was total care, he could do nothing for himself. Bathing him at home took an hour because of his skin being so bad. I had to use a lift to get him out of bed and other places. The rehab sent him home with 20 Oxy 5’s and that was all for pain. After him being on all of that heavy duty meds in both places he never went through any withdrawals either. I got him into our GP and told him that was not enough for pain after all he had gone through. So he bumped him up a little to the 7>5’s twice a day. This man has been to hell and back so for them to send him home with just about nothing for pain was totally uncalled for.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      What a horror! It’s hard to believe that this isn’t grounds for malpractice. Burns are known to be the most painful and long lasting injuries.

      Which state do you live in? I would write/call your state medical society and push them to “do something” about this, perhaps a referral to a real doctor or maybe they can pressure his docs to give him sufficient medication (although I’ve heard that for the excruciating pain from serious burns, there is no “sufficient” amount of medication that can give full relief).

      If you are able to write more about it, I’d love to publicize the horror that’s happening to you in a separate post on this blog. I’d be happy to help you write the story if you can just add more details to your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    2. canarensis

      Kathy,
      Words can’t express how sorry I am that your husband (and you) had to endure such horror needlessly. I used to be a decent person, but now I devoutly wish that every person behind the national policy of torture will undergo at least as much torture as your husband did…forever, both in this world & the next.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    3. peter jasz

      It’s dangerous, deadly -unthinkable.

      The ‘state’ of such physician/surgeon (prescription insults) is beyond disgraceful, shameless/ back-boneless -it’s also deadly, and dangerous.

      Find another (genuine) ‘source’ to help those in desperate need. Suffering like that should NEVER be tolerated. EVER. Whether required for 1-month, 1, 10 years -or a life-time.

      pj

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    4. peter jasz

      Hi Kathy: Horrific. I’m so sorry to hear of this. It tells us, in no uncertain terms, that medicine/ hospitals/ government intervention, whatever the cause/excuse, they’re NOT there for you, or I. Shockingly, we must take matters in our own hands and do WHATEVER is necessary to minimize (i.e. make tolerable) such physical, painful, unrelenting suffering. ANYTHING, everything, necessary.

      peter

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Kathleen

    This is wrong that people suffering from server pain cannot get medication. Even if you get a prescription good luck getting it fill by a pharmacist. In Ohio they have the right Not to fill it if the think it is not needed. A person who has no idea what kind of surgery you had pain you are having. It is time to sue the states and fed govt for this unjust laws that have nothing to due with herion addiction. Where do you go to file lawsuit for pain and suffering and putting a stop to these unjust laws?

    Like

    Reply
    1. peter jasz

      Now, we’re on the right path. Thank you, Kathleen.

      pj
      (To think it hasn’t been undertaken (Lawsuits) long before these ‘chats’ (on public forums) is simply incomprehensible.)

      Like

      Reply

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