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06/13/2007 11:31 PM ID: 63016 Permalink   

Woman Dies in California ER


Edith Isabel Rodriguez died in the Martin Luther King Jr. Harbor Hospital ER, while staff, 911 dispatchers and police refused to act, despite repeated calls. 911 dispatchers argued with callers and refused to call paramedics, claiming no emergency.

Police summoned by relatives and bystanders to help her instead arrested her on a parole violation. She died as they were wheeling her from the ER.

Rodriguez was bleeding from the mouth and writhing in pain on the ER floor as staff looked on and did nothing to help her. Callers described her situation to dispatchers who refused help. County and state authorities are now investigating her death.

    WebReporter: awhompbamboom Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
I just submitted this one two seconds ago! LOL. What a horrible situation this woman was in.
  by: NoTalentAssclown     06/13/2007 11:36 PM     
To me that quite a few people need to get in a LOT of trouble over this. Up to and including jail-time for negligent homicide.
  by: StarShadow     06/13/2007 11:37 PM     
If you Google, there's new video released of this, and you can find the 911 call records. It's just despicable.
  by: NoTalentAssclown     06/13/2007 11:38 PM     
Dispatcher(s) should also be fired, in my opinion, at a minimum.
  by: StarShadow     06/13/2007 11:41 PM     
  yeah... um..  
WTF? I heard the 911 calls... in no way did it sound like anything less than a dire emergency. I can't imagine what those who saw her and called 911 went through.
  by: erasedgod   06/13/2007 11:42 PM     
I can't imagine what she went through either. I don't see dying from a perforated bowel for nearly an hour while people sit around looking at me as being a good death. Somebody's gonna burn in hell for this.
  by: erasedgod   06/13/2007 11:47 PM     
  I'm not so sure...  
that the 911 operator was the problem.

The patient was in a hospital. It was the hospital staff that apparently refused to help, or triaged her completely wrong.

the 911 operators have the task of getting emergency personnel to the site of an incident. This woman was surrounded by emergency personnel. The dispatchers could have placed a call to the hospital to check up on the situation, but if the staff was already ignoring the dying woman I would wager they would have told the dispatcher that all was under control.

Referring the callers to the hospital staff was the right thing to do on the dispatcher’s part. I don’t know where communication broke down in the hospital, but the fact that they apparently let a woman bleed to death on their floor without attempting to intervene is cause for heads to roll on amongst the admissions staff.
  by: Ouka   06/13/2007 11:52 PM     
  Simple Solution on a Federal level  
Close down the hospital, make it where none of the nurses or doctors can work in the medical field again. Punish everyone...

Ah I see you worked at MLK, well sorry sir you may be a brilliant heart surgeon but since you worked at MLK before they were shut down we cannot hire you do to ethical reasons.
  by: ohioankev   06/14/2007 12:30 AM     
  This can't be real  
how on earth can someone watch someone else in so much pain and do nothing?
  by: DarkAngelJG     06/14/2007 12:36 AM     
...on how swamped this ER was. We've heard nothing but bad things here in California about the place, this just being the worst and most recent. Blacklisting every last person employed by the place is not the solution, maybe just the people on duty in the ER at the time. The dispatchers, and indeed everyone involved, in hindsight will look terrible. But looking at the dispatchers' situation, as Ouka has done, shows that while, "OMG, someone died and they knew," we have to consider what the people involved could have actually DONE. Not everyone employed there knew what was happening, and what's really the issue is who knew the gravity of her situation and could have done more. I heard on the radio this morning that a janitor actually mopped up the blood from the floor around her as she died...but take that with a grain of salt. The cops certainly blew it, though, in arresting her. They need to be sent back to the academy.
  by: MomentOfClarity     06/14/2007 12:55 AM     
  from what I've heard/read  
it seems that the hospital staff were under the mistaken impression that the woman had been discharged as was refusing to leave, or something to that effect.

I know ERs can be overcrowded and folks can end up sitting for hours while in moderate amounts of non-life-threatening pain, but letting someone bleed to death on the floor of your hospital shows gross incompetence amongst the triage & admitting attendants.

I don’t care how overworked your staff is, unless you have a natural disaster where the hospital is stacked with people in similar or worse situations, internal bleeding is one of those conditions that should *always* get rushed to the head of the admissions line.

Someone at the hospital f’ed up, badly. Not the 911 dispatchers, they did what they were supposed to do.

The whole hospital is an embarrassment. Dubbed “Killer King”, the place is in shambles and has been the subject of ongoing federal investigations. Currently they maintain all of 48 beds (down from 233) and yet they still have patients die because they are left unattended.

On the other hand, I can understand why the hospital itself is a hell-hole. Dubbed “Kiiler King” the hospital services the highest crime rate areas of LA. The folks that show up at this hospital more often than not have no insurance, can’t pay for treatment, and are predominantly victims of violence. That violence frequent follows victims onto hospital grounds.

This is not the sort of place that attracts quality workers. While many at the hospital that are there because they believe in the need to keep the hospital open, many are not qualified to hold the positions they do – 40% of the remaining nursing staff failed primary skills tests.

The local community has rallied in the past to keep the hospital’s doors open, and a functional hospital servicing the area is direly needed, but with the King’s track record I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t be better to close the whole thing down and spend a year or two regrouping to open a quality institution.
  by: Ouka   06/14/2007 01:36 AM     
  Criminal negligence  
causing death.

Someone is going to have a 'time out'.
  by: mcink2   06/14/2007 02:49 AM     
If this isn't a reason we need federal health care I don't know what is
  by: qhobbes   06/14/2007 03:40 AM     
I'm not sure that federal health care would improve anything. My only experience with federal medical help occurred while I was serving in the US Navy. I had an abcessed wisdom tooth and the swelling and pain was quite difficult to live with. I was unable to eat solid food.
After daily requests for medical assistance, and being denied repeatedly, I finally put on civilian clothes, went to a local dental surgeon and payed out of my own pocket to get the tooth removed.
I think I was dealing with basically good people, just caught up in a non-responsive federal system.
  by: White Albino   06/14/2007 08:53 AM     
My only run in with Nationalized Health Care, was when my mom got a contact smashed in her eye in London. They missed pieces of contact, then gave her eye drops that cause eye cancer. When she got home our family eye doc pulled out the rest and took the eye drops saying, "In America you would have a hands down lawsuit for them prescribing these eye drops, they cause cancer."
  by: seniorgato     06/14/2007 04:28 PM     
Not a doctor, but anyone who is writhing on the floor in pain and vomiting blood is in *obvious* need of medical assistance. There is next to no excuse for hospital staff to have done nothing.
  by: StarShadow     06/14/2007 05:07 PM     
Insurance in USA is the biggest scam. Shameful that people DIE because of @$Sholes that want to save a few bucks for their corporation, and for staff cowed into submissiveness by a system that is more afraid of lawsuits than by someone actually dying.

This is the kind of thing that should be up on tv sets for weeks at a time, not stories about Paris Hilton's jailtime, or Britney Spear's lack of hair.

ffs people! do something!
  by: theironboard     06/14/2007 08:38 PM     
  Socialised health care is little better  
If any.

The UK's hospitals are filthy and disease ridden, and we have far many more cockups.
  by: GogeVandire   06/14/2007 09:06 PM     
It is obvious this woman was neglected for the help she needed from staff. No matter how many emergencies we have, we always find a bed for a true emergency. Even if it means putting someone with a non-life threatening problem in another area. There is no excuse for what happened. As for calling 911 some hospitals have the Ambulance companies based in the ER so it would have done no help if this is the case.
  by: TaraB     06/15/2007 12:09 AM     
I havent seen too many people comment on this problem that actually know the field. I work EMS in Detroit so I deal with this environment everyday.

The first fault I would look into is the Triage Nurse/Tech. Why wasnt she rated higher on the priority chain of people to be seen. If the Triage person does not believe the person is that critical they will be tagged as a person that can wait for treatment. There is the first problem.

Calling 911 is not a bad idea but saying you are in the ER and they are not taking care of you is not. That is typical "drug-seeker" jargon. Also it is EMS's job to get you to the hospital where you can recieve "difinitive care". If she is already in the Hospital it is not EMS's job to take her to another facility unless a doctor orders it. If EMS took her To MLK and they were swamped and she was critical they would take her elsewhere, I've had to do that repeatedly.

People also I've seen are blaming the "illegals", the "non-payers" and the "welfare" people. Unfortunately these people are a strain to the healthcare system. The United States Government mandates that anyone who calls 911 or goes to the hospital HAS TO BE ALLOWED TREATMENT regardless of the ability to pay. Welfare/Medicare/Medicaid barely breaks the company I work for even. We have at least 2 dozen "frequent flyers" and or "drug-seekers" which have NOTHING wrong with them, cannot pay for the treatments they recieve, and tie us up while making other people with real medical/trauma issue wait and fesibly die. Without stretching the truth on bit 90%of our 911 calls we recieve are BOGUS. People calling for "pain", "arthritis", "trouble breathing", or just crap like I dont want to go to work and I need a doctors note, and again at least 50% will not pay when the hospital sends them the bill. People ask why is healthcare so expensive, it is because the majority of people DO NOT PAY THEIR BILL. So when insurance finds someone who is willing to pay they have to charge them extra to help break even.

So please do us in the Healthcare field some small favors;

Pay your bills and taxes. If you cannot pay a medical bill call the insurance/hospital and tell them. generally they will cut your bill in half and allow you to set up a payment plan.

If you dont like a hospital you are in, go to another one! If you are in the ER... leave, go to a pay phone and call 911 and tell them you need to go to another hospital.

If you can find a way, get yourself to the er, call a friend catch the bus do anything you can if you are not critical to get to the ER without calling an ambulance. please dont tie us up if you "aren't feeling good". THAT IS NOT AN E-M-E-R-G-E-N-C-Y.

If you are a drug seeker, just tell us, we will still take you to the hospital and they will give you drugs instead of running lots of bogus expensive tests.

Lastly and kind of personally, please dont tell us your pain is over a 10 out of 10, we need to know actually how bad your pain is. If you tell us its a 25 we A; think you are lying to us, and B; have no way to really judge how much pain you are in.
  by: tyrmak   06/19/2007 08:01 PM     
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