Our top photographer, who is also a computer whiz, is in the process of helping me become accustomed to, and comfortable with, the internet. As we logged on, the first two items we encountered jumped up as if they were just waiting for me to come and get them.

The first was an item from NBC “Nightly News”, wherein correspondent Robert Hager dealt with a recently published study which concluded that, “Children are three times more likely than adults to be victims of harmful medication errors in hospitals.” He gave a specific example: “A 9-Month-Old baby girl died at Washington D.C.’s Children’s Hospital last week because a clerk overlooked a decimal point in an order for the pain killer morphine. The doctor ordered .5mg – half a milligram.” He quoted hospital staff member Dr. Peter Holbrook as stating, “The person who transcribed the order onto the temporary medication administration record read it as 5 instead of .5.” TEN TIMES TOO MUCH!

And, the story goes, the nurse who administered the lethal dose did not even question it! This, according to Correspondent Hager, was no isolated incident.

“A new study,” he states, “in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association showed that these sorts of incidents are a nationwide problem, especially for the very young. The researchers reported that potentially harmful medication errors occur three times more often among hospitalized children than adults.

“The investigators examined more than 10,000 medication orders for children at two Boston hospitals and found more than 600 errors. One of every 20 was ordered incorrectly.”

Correspondent Hager attributed some of the errors to tiny bodies requiring smaller doses, setting the stage for pills being cut incorrectly, with the resultant improper dosages causing bad reactions – usually in the bodies of small babies, who are unable to communicate the fact that something is going wrong.

The need for the medical profession to re-double its efforts to prevent such deaths was voiced by Mary Wakefield of George Mason University, former member of an Institute of Medicine panel that once estimated that up to 98,000 U.S. hospital patients a year are killed by errors!

“The new study,” Hager concludes, “suggests many errors could be avoided by simply requiring doctors to enter drug orders carefully in a computer.”

Did you know that beef eaters are being poisoned by the injection of Genetically Engineered Bovine Growth Hormone into the cattle to increase the profit of marketers? This also goes for babies who drink milk from these unnatural animals, as well as many ice cream eaters. I congratulate Ben & Jerry’s for the valiant war against poison ice cream that they have been waging against the State of Illinois since 1994.

We may get a bit more into the poison ice cream on the market next issue.