“Fatal Care” by Sanjaya Kumar, MD

NOTE: This is a preview rather than a review since I will proceed reading “Fatal Care” one story at a time over the next few months.

As you know, I collect signed books. I have recently been lucky enough to receive a signed copy of “Fatal Care” written by Sanjaya Kumar an MD who lives in Tracy, CA. Really quickly, this book explains (via a series of real stories) what you should know to avoid medical mistakes from happening to you.

In the first story, Lewis Blackman is a healthy 15 year old with a congenital deformity (not life threatening) that cause his sternum to be depressed. This deformity is called “pectus excavatum” or “funnel chest”. The operation (a new procedure meant to lessen the recovery time) took much longer than expected, but, Lewis pulled through just fine. Over the next few days, he slowly declined despite the fact that he was in a hospital and being attended to by multiple health professionals. Eventually, sadly, Lewis died. An autopsy revealed that a medication he was getting for pain (Toradol) caused a stomach ulcer that eventually caused Lewis to bleed to death.

The fact that multiple health professional missed the symptoms and did not take the very simple blood test that would have pointed directly at the ulcer is very scary and hammers home the fact that you need to take an active role in your own health care.

This is a very timely book that everyone should read. At some point every family will face the health care system and should know as much as possible about the process.

In fact, a good friend of ours, right here in Tracy, CA, lost his wife to a medical mistake in our local hospital many years ago…so the words written in “Fatal Care” ring very true for us.


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