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Female pt. dies ignored by nursing staff

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by emmalou* emmalou* (New Member) New Member

emmalou* has 14 years experience and specializes in Med/Surg; aged care; OH&S.

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dying of hospital indifference syndrome

i'm australian but i have an interest in nursing overseas hence the link from la - :confused:

does anyone know what happened here or what the circumstances were surrounding this incident? i know here in australia a lot of news articles are grossly exaggerated and/or there is almost certainly more to the story than is presented so am keeping an open mind at the moment.

would like to hear some thoughts of us nurses.

em

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1,456 Visitors; 57 Posts

I saw this story today on Good Morning America and they played the 911 tapes and there were actual patients calling 911 from the HOSPITAL to say that noone would help this woman, and the 911 operators yelled at them saying that 911 is for emergencies and that this was not an emergency.They also have actual video surveillance showing housekeeping cleaning around her as she was passed out on the floor, it seems way too outrageous to be true, unbelieveably sad. She died a couple hours later from a perforated bowel. Something that could have been caught....

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RosesrReder has 13 years experience as a ADN.

26,107 Visitors; 8,402 Posts

The link is not working for me........viera, that is beyond appaling-it's truly heartless!

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NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

5 Followers; 10 Articles; 159,973 Visitors; 14,484 Posts

Having both myself and DS in hospital ER waiting 5 hrs each time writhing in pain with suspected kidney stones, waiting our time to be seen and treated due to multiple codes and ambulance arrivals, I can understand nurses side. All other hospitals in my area on divert, so no other ER with shorter wait time.

If all ER beds + wall area full, can't take someone back. Unfortunately, with long waits, pts will do ANYTHING to get back quicker....see ER nurses laments here. Problem is need to se up 24 URGENT care centers to leave ER with true emergencies.

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mercyteapot has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Dev. Disabilities, Health Disparities.

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Yes, there are 2 sides to every story, but where this particular hospital is involved, it isn't just this story. It is hundreds, if not thousands, of such stories. This one is just the most obvious because it was captured on videotape.

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UM Review RN is a ASN, RN and specializes in Utilization Management.

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors met in closed session Tuesday to discuss the incident with Chief Administrative Officer David Janssen and health services chief Dr. Bruce Chernof. Janssen has said the responsibility lies with a single nurse who has already resigned, and that this latest scandal isn't a sign of a systemic problem.

Is he kidding?

If a woman arrives at a hospital with a gallstone problem and falls out of a wheelchair twice, is told by an ER nurse to get up, lies on the ground while her frantic boyfriend calls 911 when no one will help, writhes in pain for 45 minutes while a janitor sweeps around her and police begin to arrest her on a warrant, then dies a horrible death from an apparent perforated bowel after several medical staffers sit back as if everything's fine, I'd say the problem is not only systemic, but it might be time to consider locking all the doors and calling in an exorcist.

Finally. Public validation of systemic problems at the root of it. We always wondered what it would take. So awful that lives are being lost.

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mercyteapot has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Dev. Disabilities, Health Disparities.

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I hope this isn't running too far afield of the OP. It isn't a direct reflection of anyone at the hospital, but of the politician in whose district it is located.

I just finished an interdisciplinary training program at USC. Instead of writing a thesis, we had to complete a specialty concentration project. One student, a RD, decided she was going to advocate for the passage of a state bill that would have located an obesity center at this hospital. The text of the bill stated that the center would be associated with the medical school at the University of California Irvine. When this woman started making calls to UCI, no one had any idea what she was talking about! She actually changed the thrust of her project to advocate against establishment of the center at King Harbor.

There's plenty of blame to go around as concerns the problems at this hospital.

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30,161 Visitors; 4,491 Posts

There were critically ill patients housed on the so-called telemetry unit. ventilators, titratable cardiac drips, very sick patients. Two licensed nurses, only one of whom was an RN, for 19 patients.

So when patients on this unit and other units died the supervisors decided to close the excellent trauma center.

The fine nurses and trauma physicians went to work at other hospitals.

Other ER staff quit too. Who is left?

I think it likely that only uncaring burnt out people would stay. Or those who don't know any better. Or people too intimidated to advocate for patients.

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1,673 Visitors; 58 Posts

This is very, very sad. I think that they were neglegent.

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4,073 Visitors; 648 Posts

There were several posts about the lady in the article. I find it funny that the doctor placed the entire blame on the one triage nurse. Nevermind the fact that the lady had 3 physician examinations which medically cleared her, the last being a few hours prior to her death. Oh let me guess, her severe abd pain during those visits were not related. The doctors had 3 times to get her diagnosis right, not only is diagnosing in their scope of practice but they had multiple tests they could run such as CT scan or x rays.

Nurses cannot diagnose, only prioritize and generally abd pain is not an emergent complaint. Not to mention when you have had 3 doctors tell you it isnt life threatening or an emergency. If you dont have a bed you dont have a bed, you have to move the chest pain and shortness of breath pts up, and extreme behavior is a part of everyday life in the ER. So people can be outraged and administrations can place the blame on a nurse, it is the easy way out.

It is sad, I dont know the entire story, and from what I have read it does seem like the nurse did do some wrong. But come on, 3 doctors missed this diagnosis and the triage nurse was supposed to pick it up?

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1,673 Visitors; 58 Posts

Noryn, you are very right. It certainly is not the triage nurse's fault. Though someone should have done something about her passed out on the floor, etc.

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