woman dies in ER waiting room (article)

  1. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...la-home-center

    the first few paragraphs, click link for rest of story (too long to cut/paste)

    In the emergency room at Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, Edith Isabel Rodriguez was seen as a complainer.

    "Thanks a lot, officers," an emergency room nurse told Los Angeles County police who brought in Rodriguez early May 9 after finding her in front of the Willowbrook hospital yelling for help. "This is her third time here."

    The 43-year-old mother of three had been released from the emergency room hours earlier, her third visit in three days for abdominal pain. She'd been given prescription medication and a doctor's appointment.

    Turning to Rodriguez, the nurse said, "You have already been seen, and there is nothing we can do," according to a report by the county office of public safety, which provides security at the hospital.

    Parked in the emergency room lobby in a wheelchair after police left, she fell to the floor. She lay on the linoleum, writhing in pain, for 45 minutes, as staffers worked at their desks and numerous patients looked on.

    Aside from one patient who briefly checked on her condition, no one helped her. A janitor cleaned the floor around her as if she were a piece of furniture. A closed-circuit camera captured everyone's apparent indifference.

    Arriving to find Rodriguez on the floor, her boyfriend unsuccessfully tried to enlist help from the medical staff and county police — even a 911 dispatcher, who balked at sending rescuers to a hospital.

    Alerted to the "disturbance" in the lobby, police stepped in — by running Rodriguez's record. They found an outstanding warrant and prepared to take her to jail. She died before she could be put into a squad car.
    interesting. says she was in for abd pain 3x in 3 days,but never what they did for her test wise, or what they suspected her diagnosis was, etc.
    Last edit by P_RN on May 24, '07 : Reason: Two concurrent threads about this lady's death merged.
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  3. 176 Comments

  4. by   Soup Turtle
    wow...that is really sad...it's sad that so many people abuse the ER and the staff thought this real case was fake. I can't believe they were actually taking the woman to JAIL.
  5. by   Myxel67
    This really sounds like the other side of the ER nurses venting. First, the woman was obese, she was also Mexican or Hispanic. Can't you hear the accusations of "Drug Seeker!" resounding down the hall. Then, she probably did not have insurance. She had 3 strikes against her before she came in the first time. How could anyone let a woman lie on the floor in pain like that. ER nurses can do it because they are extremely judgmental and they think they know it all and are always right. The woman had a perforated large bowel, for God's sake.

    T. Soup--how can you lay the blame for this at the feet of ER patients. This woman needed care, and apparently never got any kind of diagnostic workup. They gave the woman instructions to come back if pain worsened. She did, and they totally ignored her. Not even so much as a temp or BP check.
    Last edit by Myxel67 on May 20, '07
  6. by   reesern63
    Could this thread be merged with the one that is already going in the Emeregency Nurses forum?
  7. by   HappyNurse2005
    Quote from Myxel67
    This really sounds like the other side of the ER nurses venting. First, the woman was obese, she was also Mexican or Hispanic. Can't you hear the accusations of "Drug Seeker!" resounding down the hall. Then, she probably did not have insurance. She had 3 strikes against her before she came in the first time. How could anyone let a woman lie on the floor in pain like that. ER nurses can do it because they are extremely judgmental and they think they know it all and are always right. The woman had a perforated large bowel, for God's sake.
    hypocritical much? you're being just as judgemental as you claim they are.
  8. by   reesern63
    Quote from Myxel67
    This really sounds like the other side of the ER nurses venting. First, the woman was obese, she was also Mexican or Hispanic. Can't you hear the accusations of "Drug Seeker!" resounding down the hall. Then, she probably did not have insurance. She had 3 strikes against her before she came in the first time. How could anyone let a woman lie on the floor in pain like that. ER nurses can do it because they are extremely judgmental and they think they know it all and are always right. The woman had a perforated large bowel, for God's sake.
    Since you weren't there and were not privy to all the facts, you should not be passing judgement
  9. by   MrChicagoRN
    Tragic.
    From near the end of the article:
    "Over the last 3 1/2 years, King-Harbor has reeled from crisis to crisis.

    Based on serious patient-care lapses, it has lost its national accreditation and federal funding. Hundreds of staff members have been disciplined and services cut.

    Janssen said he was concerned that the incident would divert attention from preparing the hospital for a crucial review in six weeks that is to determine whether it can regain federal funding. "

    The lawyers will have a field day, the hospital will pay, perhaps end up closing due to an apparent history of substandard care.


    One lesson we can ALL take with us, is that it's easy to become callous & turn a deaf ear towards certain problematic patients. But every once in awhile, that problem patient will develop a very, very REAL problem that needs to be addressed.
  10. by   Multicollinearity
    I'd like to see equal attention given to the police officers who were arresting a woman who couldn't even sit in a wheel chair and was screaming in pain. She died while the cops were trying to get her into their car. Can you imagine dying that way?
  11. by   Myxel67
    Just go to the ER thread and read it. I can't believe you haven't seen some of this yourselves. Just because someone is a nurse, they are not automatically nominated for sainthood. There is no excuse for this kind of treatment. It's illegal. I don't care if the patient was stinking drunk (there was no indication that she was--just an example), she deserved to be triaged.

    There are NO extenuating circumstances that can excuse how this woman was treated. Judgmental--Me? You bet, if it means holding hospital employees accountable.
  12. by   Myxel67
    Quote from multicollinarity
    I'd like to see equal attention given to the police officers who were arresting a woman who couldn't even sit in a wheel chair and was screaming in pain. She died while the cops were trying to get her into their car. Can you imagine dying that way?


    She didn't sit in front of the police car writhing in pain and screaming for 45 minutes. The attention was put where it belonged--ER nurses who think they have all the answers.
  13. by   HappyNurse2005
    Just go to the ER thread and read it.
    link to the ER thread, please. i went there and didn't see it.
  14. by   Myxel67
    Quote from HappyNurse2005
    hypocritical much? you're being just as judgemental as you claim they are.

    Perhaps you didn't read the article--I did, and there is no excuse for how this woman was treated. We need to look at patients as individuals and not make assumptions that would interfere in providing that pt care. The triage nurse and any other nurse there who went on with working at their desks while this woman screamed for help deserve to lose their licenses.
  15. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from Myxel67
    She didn't sit in front of the police car writhing in pain and screaming for 45 minutes. The attention was put where it belonged--ER nurses who think they have all the answers.
    I wasn't deflecting responsibility from the hospital. My only point was I found it troubling that officials weren't also questioning why police officers ran a criminal check on someone not getting care in an ER waiting room, found an old warrant, and arrested a screaming, dying woman.

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