Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
I have an innate fear of the doctors and hospitals. There are valid reasons for that. The first surgery I had to remove my appendix only happened after I refused to leave the emergency room until the doctors found out what was wrong with me. Had I left, my appendix would have burst the next morning. Then, while going to a plastic surgeon for a simple mole removal, the nurse asked me who would be driving me home. When I told her I’d be transporting myself, she told me that I’d be under a massive amount of anesthesia because I was getting a breast augmentation. “Wow! Wrong file!” I screamed. There were only two patients at the clinic that morning. And don’t even get me started on my two C-sections. The new HBO doc airing tonight, BLEED OUT, hit home and it’s a brutal and frustrating watch. That’s the point. Steve Burrows was a comedy director in L.A. until his mother broke her hip in Wisconsin. She went from free spirit retiree to permanent neurocognitive impairment in a matter of days. Now he’s on a mission to take the hospital, doctors, insurance companies to task in a lawsuit no one wanted to touch. The entire system is stacked against the people and most of them don’t even know it… Until something happens to them. Politicians love to use healthcare as a talking point but no one can seem to protect the patient, they’re only protecting the business of corporate medicine. You will be pissed off and rightly so. This is a story about one family’s fight but there are literally thousands of stories like this happening daily. Daily. People are drowning in bills they should not have to pay. It’s quite frankly disgusting. Bleed Out is a phenomenal companion to the podcast Dr. Death. This, too, illustrates the lack of care for patients. In Bleed Out, you will watch mistake after mistake, finger pointing, and zero accountability. This single ordeal is one that covers a decade of chaos. Now imagine the cases that go undocumented. Burrows put his heart, soul, and career on the line to fight the proverbial man. He is my hero. This film is one every single American needs to watch, if not for themselves most definitely for their loved ones.
After a routine partial hip replacement operation leaves the mother of filmmaker and comedian Steve Burrows in a coma with permanent brain damage, what starts as a personal video diary becomes a citizen’s investigation into the state of American health care. Shot over the course of ten years, using archival footage, vérité scenes and interviews with family members and experts, the thought-provoking documentary BLEED OUT debuts MONDAY, DEC. 17 (8:00–9:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
The film will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.