Death after two-hour ER wait ruled homicide
"WAUKEGAN, Illinois (AP) -- A coroner's jury has declared the death of a heart attack victim who spent almost two hours in a hospital waiting room to be a homicide.
Beatrice Vance, 49, died of a heart attack, but the jury at a coroner's inquest ruled Thursday that her death also was "a result of gross deviations from the standard of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in this situation."
Vance had waited almost two hours for a doctor to see her after complaining of classic heart attack symptoms -- nausea, shortness of breath and chest pains, Deputy Coroner Robert Barrett testified.
She was seen by a triage nurse about 15 minutes after she arrived, and the nurse classified her condition as "semi-emergent," Barrett said. He said Vance's daughter twice asked nurses after that when her mother would see a doctor.
When her name was finally called, a nurse found Vance slumped unconscious in a waiting room chair without a pulse. Barrett said. She was pronounced dead shortly afterward."
Sep 16, '06
My question is where was the EKG on this patient. The national standard of care is that a patient having an MI have one within 15 mins of arrival. Hence at my facility even when full up and overflowing we have one done on every patient presenting with chest pain in the triage area if need be. I would find it extremely hard to believe that this patients EKG did not have changes consistent with MI or at the very least abnormal to the point of she would not of waited in triage long enough to move some BS pt out in to the hall.
So yes something criminal did take place. As to what I will not say as I dont know that hospital system or their protocols.
With out all the informatin ie the chart specifically its hard to know what the triage nurse was presented with or saw. But since a jury determined a gross deviation from standards I would bet something pretty glaring occurred.
Last edit by rjflyn on Sep 16, '06