I have always found some of the core beliefs of the various Futurist, Transhumanist, and H+ factions to be quite interesting. The various futurist collectives understand point A and point Z but have no clue what the hell they are going to do with all the points in between points A and Z.
You have a whole host of issues that have to be addressed on the way to the glory of the Singularity. What I am going to cover today is just a small section of one of the most import items that will have to be fixed by everyone, whether you are a futurist or a Luddite and that is healthcare.
This article is not going to cover all the issues that healthcare has, I am going to touch on just a small section of the healthcare industry and that is Hospital Acquired Infections, HAI.
Hospital acquired infections will be the bane to all of the various futurist factions. Whether you want to do transplants, robotics, cryonics, and augmentation all of these will be effected by hospital acquired infections. What I have read and seen from the various futurist factions is that these issues will magically go away. Like the Transhumanist Faery God Mother is going to swoop down from the clear blue sky and wave the magic H+ wand and hospital acquired infections are going to go away like the dodo bird.
Hospital acquired infections are not going to go away any time soon. As time goes on the infections are winning the day. Below is a snippet from the CDC regarding hospital acquired infections:
The CDC healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevalence survey External Web Site Icon provides an updated national estimate of the overall problem of HAIs in U.S. hospitals. Based on a large sample of U.S. acute care hospitals, the survey found that on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. There were an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S acute care hospitals in 2011. About 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations. More than half of all HAIs occurred outside of the intensive care unit.
Estimates of Healthcare-Associated Infections Occurring in Acute Care Hospitals in the United States, 2011.
Major Site of Infection- Estimated No.
Pneumonia – 157,500
Gastrointestinal Illness – 123,100
Urinary Tract Infections – 93,300
Primary Bloodstream Infections – 71,900
Surgical site infections from any inpatient surgery – 157,500
Other types of infections – 118,500
Estimated total number of infections in hospitals – 721,800
Here is another great blurb from Hospital Infection.ORG:
The CDC claims that 1.7 million people contract infections in U.S. hospitals each year. In fact, the truth is several times that number. The proof is in the data. One of the fastest growing infections is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a superbug that doesn’t respond to most antibiotics. In 1993, there were fewer than 2,000 MRSA infections in U.S. hospitals. By 2005, the figure had shot up to 368,000 according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). By June, 2007, 2.4 percent of all patients had MRSA infections, according to the largest study of its kind, which was published in the American Journal of Infection Control. That would mean 880,000 victims a year.
That’s from one superbug. Imagine the number of infections from bacteria of all kinds, including such killers as vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Clostridium difficile. Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, director of the CDC, recently told Congress that MRSA accounts for only 8 percent of HAIs. That 8 percent figure was confirmed in a study by Emory University researchers on April 6.
The data keeps getting worse as we go forward to the future. Hospital acquired infections is a grave threat for any futurists plans. I know it is not as fancy as working for a Tech Firm, building a new hit app or making the new Facebook. We need to take our great minds that are working in other segments of the economy and move them to the healthcare arena.
In turn, we need to take the money making process away from the drug manufacturers, hospitals, insurance companies, and medical equipment makers. These groups do not give a damn less about the future of any people other than the money they are going to stuff in their offshore accounts.
Do not think for a minute or a second that you will walk into a futurist future of H+ augmentations, when most likely in 5 to 10 years most patients that end up hospitalized will end up with a hospital acquired infection.
This is only a small segment of the healthcare industry and is far from how bleak the future actually is for H+ augmentations or any other procedures that the various futurist communities can think up. I will have in future writings more issues that the various futurist communities will have to address before we can all walk towards the Singularity.