I saw this. Did you listen to the tapes? Horrible.
OK, the job of EMS is getting victims to the hospital, but if two different calls come in about someone dying unattended in the ER, it would have been so easy to call and say, "We have a reports of a problem in your ER, could you check it out".
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19207050/ Woman dies in ER lobby as 911 refuses to help Tapes show operators ignored pleas to send ambulance to L.A. hospital. Updated: 10:43 a.m. ET June 13, 2007 LOS ANGELES - A woman who lay bleeding on the emergency room floor of a troubled inner-city hospital died after 911 dispatchers refused to contact paramedics or an ambulance to take her to another facility, newly released tapes of the emergency calls reveal. Edith Isabel Rodriguez, 43, died of a perforated bowel on May 9 at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital. Her death was ruled accidental by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Relatives said Rodriguez was bleeding from the mouth and writhing in pain for 45 minutes while she was at a hospital waiting area. Experts have said she could have survived had she been treated early enough. Story continues below ?advertisement County and state authorities are now investigating Rodriguez’s death. Relatives reported she died as police were wheeling her out of the hospital after the officers they had asked to help Rodriguez arrested her instead on a parole violation. Sheriff’s Department spokesman Duane Allen said Wednesday that the investigation is ongoing. In the recordings of two 911 calls that day, first obtained by the Los Angeles Times under a California Public Records Act request, callers pleaded for help for Rodriguez but were referred to hospital staff instead. “I’m in the emergency room. My wife is dying and the nurses don’t want to help her out,” Rodriguez’s boyfriend, Jose Prado, is heard saying in Spanish through an interpreter on the tapes. “What’s wrong with her?” a female dispatcher asked. “She’s vomiting blood,” Prado said. “OK, and why aren’t they helping her?” the dispatcher asked. ‘They’re just watching her’ “They’re watching her there and they’re not doing anything. They’re just watching her,” Prado said. The dispatcher told Prado to contact a doctor and then said paramedics wouldn’t pick her up because she was already in a hospital. She later told him to contact county police officers at a security desk. A second 911 call was placed eight minutes later by a bystander who requested that an ambulance be sent to take Rodriguez to another hospital for care. “She’s definitely sick and there’s a guy that’s ignoring her,” the woman told a male dispatcher. During the call, the dispatcher argued with the woman over whether there really was an emergency. “I cannot do anything for you for the quality of the hospital. ... It is not an emergency. It is not an emergency ma’am,” he said. “You’re not here to see how they’re treating her,” the woman replied. The dispatcher refused to call paramedics and told the woman that she should contact hospital supervisors “and let them know” if she is unhappy. ‘May God strike you too’ “May God strike you too for acting the way you just acted,” the woman said finally. “No, negative ma’am, you’re the one,” he said. The incident was the latest high-profile lapse at King-Harbor, formerly known as King/Drew. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is investigating claims of recent patient care breakdowns, including Rodriguez’s case. Federal inspectors last week said emergency room patients were in “immediate jeopardy” of harm or death, and King-Harbor was given 23 days to shape up or risk losing federal funding. ‘Fundamentally a failure of caring’ Dr. Bruce Chernof, director of the county Department of Health Services, which oversees the facility, has called Rodriguez’s death “inexcusable” and said it was “important to understand that this was fundamentally a failure of caring.” He has said conditions are improving, though. A call Wednesday seeking comment about the 911 tapes from the department’s communications office, which handles information about the hospital, was not immediately returned. Dr. Roger Peeks, the chief medical officer at the hospital, was placed on “ordered absence” Monday, the Times reported. Health officials declined to elaborate, saying it was a personnel matter. Dr. Robert Splawn, chief medical officer for the health department, was named interim chief medical officer, the newspaper said.
Once a new dad thought he needed to dial 9 to get an outside line, then he dialed 1 for long distance. It connected to 911 and he told them he did not have an emergency. The 911 operator then called me at the desk, I went down to the room to see if there was a problem and the man old me what had happened, I went back and explained to the 911 operator. Five minutes later a policeman came in and wanted to talk to the patient, I had to go down and tell this new mom that the policeman had to verify that she was alright.
We had a jerk of a patient once who called the sheriff's office because we didn't bring his pain medicene fast enough.
This is unbelievable! However the 911 dispatch was not told that patient was lying on floor in waiting room vomiting blood, he probably thought the lady was being monitored in a cubicle. I would certainly hold the ER personnel accountable and this is pure negligence.
I know that when my demented 94 y.o Dad was hospitalized no one answered his call light. He called 911 and wanted them to locate me and bring me to the hospital to get him out. My SIL's aunt called 911 from rehab and told them she was being held prisoner. Both dispatachers called the hospital or rehab and followed through.
I fault the ER staff and the LA dispatchers. Have we grown so uncaring because of all the assaults on our medical system? Short staffing, overuse of the ER?
Physically, Lakewood, OH; mentally, wherever I wanna be.
I know our ER's are overcrowded but .....
I can't help but wonder if this lady was a "frequent flyer". I can understand the temptation to want to ignore her, especially if the ER was crowded and short-staffed, but to ignore someone vomiting blood, unthinkable. ITA, where were the nurses?
That's what someone told me...that b/c of other experiences, they thought she was drug-seeking... My mom, a long time ER nurse (worked in inner cities--and huge trauma centers--the toughest places...) calls me up and tells me this is "unacceptable." "It doesn't matter if they thought she was drug seeking." It doesn't matter if she was the biggest druggie in the world. Yes pawhite, you are so right.
I've seen it too. And I have seen it in other in-pt areas. We've had a lively debate about something like this in the past--and I shared about how my father was left writhing in severe pain--and no one would come--bells were ignored, etc... Somehow he was able to call my mom, who then called me on my cell, and I hightailed it to that hospital. He was in fact bleeding into his gut. I had stated that I feared this could well have been the case; sure enough it was. (This I stated to the supervisor after assessing the situation for myself.) Lord what that man didn't go through--and if anything he was more stoic than many--often a very German trait.
In the debate I am recalling, I stated that I would tell anyone in a similar situation to call 911 if nothing else was able to get the person help. Sorry. It's just what I believe in.
Also, as a nurse, it's not my job to play lie detector. When a patient tells me they are experiencing something, I believe them and assess them and f/u appropriately, period.
And look--the warning that federal support would be removed wasn't simply due to this particular incidentfor heaven's sake. "The incident was the latest high-profile lapse at King-Harbor, formerly known as King/Drew. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is investigating claimS of recent patient care breakdownS, including Rodriguez’s case."
The fellow that called 911 for not getting his "opiate of choice" should be fined or made to go before a judge. But in general, I believe it is our moral/ethical obligation to believe patients and assess them thoroughly w/o drawing from a bias of previous experience/s.
And yes, common sense is an issue. What kind of detailed questions did the 911 ask of the caller regarding Ms. Rodriguez? What questions did he ask of the intake/triage nurse/nurses? How soon was the hospital supervisor made away of the situation?
pawhite, You are very correct.I'll work with you any day.