One morning, a resident of senior housing in Neenah, during her morning walk fell and broke her right femur near the hip as well as her right arm near the shoulder. The usual pre-operative tests were performed on her and after getting the green signal, she was prepared for her surgical repair of the leg. Her arm, however, because of her age was left to repair on its own with a sling.
The surgery was successful so then came the question of where to have her get the necessary follow-up and the post-surgical rehabilitation. After some discussion, it was decided, that she would pack-up from Neenah and travel to be close to her son and live at the Maryhill Manor. Things were going perfect until she fell again and this time broke her left femur.
This time the surgery was performed by a doctor from their small, local hospital, Dr. Occhietti. Again, the routine pre-operative tests were performed and the same lab work that was done three months ago in Neenah at a big and prestigious hospital was done in the local one. A hospitalist that was on duty at the time did not like what he heard in the woman’s heart and ordered an echocardiogram instead of simply relying on the EKG. This one additional test saved her life. At the age of 91, she was cleared for surgery having a previously undiagnosed infection in her heart valve.
The surgery once again was successful. She was kept in a hospital for long enough to get a culture from her blood and learn about the type of bacteria that was living in her heart. The doctors then prescribed her some antibiotics and she was well taken care of in the next few weeks. Three months later she moved back to her original home. Her infection had completely gone away and she had no long lasting side effects.
The expert detection of this infection and the accurate diagnosis deserve to be appreciated. In a nut shell, a small hospital was able to find out something that a big hospital with its great reputation could not. It is not about the size of the hospitals but how good they actually are that matters.