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Bad Economy Leading to Less Surgery? Not in Glendale, California

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HCA Holdings, the largest for-profit hospital chain in the United States reported lower-than-expected earnings on Monday.

NPR's Scott Hensley says "one of the reasons might surprise you: some people appear to be forgoing surgery, in part, because of hard economic times."

"Executives listed a handful of causes for the surgical weakness including economic softness," according to the Wall Street Journal.

But, as Reuters notes today, some folks are still going ahead with their surgeries, bad economy or not.

A 63-year-old American man with a hernia plunged a butter knife into his abdomen to try to fix the problem, and later put a lit cigarette in the wound, according to police.

Police found the man lying naked on the porch of his apartment in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale in California Sunday night after his wife called to report his attempt at surgery, Glendale police spokesman Sergeant Tom Lorenz said.

"He actually impaled himself with the butter knife," Lorenz said. "He told his wife he was frustrated with this hernia, and he didn't want to wait any longer for the medical procedure."

Sam Carvajal, a surgeon at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, was not impressed.

“It is absolutely impossible for someone to fix their own hernia," he told the Burbank Leader: “Obviously, there is some amount of psychosis going on."
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