Bleed Out, a Harrowing, Personal Investigation Into the Problems Afflicting American Health Care, Debuts Dec. 17 on HBO
Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
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.
In 2009, Steve Burrows’ mother, Judie, an active and independent retired teacher, fell while riding her bike and was rushed to the hospital for hip surgery. After months of painful recovery, she fell again. Then, after eight days in the hospital and a second hip surgery, in which she lost approximately half her blood, the 69-year-old fell into a coma and suffered permanent brain damage.
Questioning whether his mother received adequate care in surgery and in the hospital’s “e-ICU” unit, in which doctors sometimes monitor patients remotely by camera, Burrows consulted friends and lawyers, eventually deciding, with his family, to sue for medical malpractice.
BLEED OUT is his harrowing, eye-opening account of the ten years that follow — an endless cycle of medical bills, emergency-room visits and insurance-company red tape. Part medical mystery and legal thriller, part investigative journey and meditation on family, this is a revealing, cautionary tale.