Thursday, June 14, 2007
Callous Negligent Treatment at Hospital Results in Needless Death
The AP has reported the painful death of a woman who died of a perforated bowel as she lay in a waiting room at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital in Los Angeles. The patient who was in agony waited for 45 minutes to see a physician. This inner-city hospital has now replaced its chief medical officer. It must correct long-running problems or close. Tapes of 911 calls document a dieing woman laying on the floor of the emergency room. Dispatchers refused to contact paramedics or an ambulance to take her to another facility. The woman's treatment was "callous, it was a horrible thing," Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke said Wednesday. A federal inspection also concluded that ER patients were in "immediate jeopardy." The federal report included a patient with a brain tumor who waited four days in the ER before being transferred to another facility for lifesaving brain surgery. Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the hospital 23 days to correct problems or lose federal funding.