Health News Horrors

Here's a roundup of the health news that made us stop, spit out our coffee, and read twice.

By Teresa Dumain from Reader's Digest Magazine | June 2012

Health News HorrorsIllustration by David Pohl
Horror Headline: Old Folks Send Message With Emergency Tattoos

Bet you’ll never guess what 81-year-old Joy Tomkins of Norfolk, England, has tattooed over her heart in big blue capital letters: “DO NOT RESUSCITATE.” Kansas City pathologist Ed Friedlander, MD, has “No CPR” front and center on his chest. Melissa Boyer of Nashville, Michigan, got a tattoo that declares her a type 1 diabetic with allergies to penicillin and aspirin.

But here’s the rub: The markings don’t carry much medical weight. “Unless there’s strong supporting information, such as a legal document stating otherwise, we would begin lifesaving treatment, regardless of a tattoo,” says David Ross, DO, an emergency physician with the Penrose–St. Francis health system in Colo­rado and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians. Though emergency responders may take into account tattoo alerts of allergies or diseases, they wouldn’t serve as complete medical background.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

Sending Message
how we use your e-mail

  • Your Comments

    • Hdanieldonato

      well, sometimes or most of the time patients are just mere specimens for these hospitals…

    • http://www.facebook.com/arshamsray Shams Aci

      Comment / Opinion / Concern:

      Physicians must care to handle their patients expertly, responsibly, devotedly and dependably, not so ignorantly that the after effect of the patients’ physical condition  improves rather than that (physical condition) deteriorates. The prospective patients too must  choose dependable physicians having bright history of their medical practice of years, not of just days or months.

        – A.R.Shams’s ‘Creative Living Spirit’ Reflection Moral Message Press & Online Publications.