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Update, my husband walked out of the hospital...:(

706 Views 22 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  KarolH
Hi Everyone,

Chuck is home but was not released by medical staff, instead, he walked out of the hospital on his own and is home now. What took place in this hospital yesterday, in my humble opinion is appalling and unimaginable!!!

The sequence of events went like this...

Yesterday morning at 7am they stopped his IV fluids and pain meds as he was going to be having the MRI done at 12pm noon. He had nothing by mouth and the ambulance service was picking him up at 11:15am to take him to the facility to have the test done.

At 10am he rang the Nurses bell to because he wanted to know if he needed to drink any contrast for the MRI procedure.....she never came. We rang the bell again at 10:45am.....she did not come. I walked down to the Nurses station to speak with her and she was with another patient so they told me they would send her down to the room. She never came down and Chuck was taken out for the test. Obviously he did not have to prep with a contrast drink.

He had the MRI/MRCP done at 12 noon. It took one hour and then he returned to the hospital to wait for results. The GI doctor told him earlier that morning if the test came back ok he would be allowed to eat soft food. At 2pm we inquired about the test results and the nurse told us the results were not back yet. Again at 3pm and 4pm and still, no results.

At 6pm I called over to the facility that did the MRI and spoke to a girl named xxxxx. I asked her why the results have not been forwarded to the hospital, she placed me on hold. She came back and said xxxxxx, the MRI technician told her that the radiologist did not read his films and that they would have it done right away and faxed over to the hospital within 20 minutes. I am unclear as to why the Nurse was not proactive in making that call herself??? I should not have had to do the leg work to get results.:mad:

Once Chuck got back to the room they delivered him a tray of clear liquids that consisted of Ginger Ale, Cranberry Juice, Jello, Rasberry water ice, soup broth and hot tea. He explained to the Nurse that he can not have these things as he is insulin diabetic and it will make his sugars go crazy. He let them know that his Endocrinologist told he never to have juices, sodas, etc... The Nurse had a Nutritionist come up to speak with Chuck and she said, "Sorry, nothing I can do because this is what they have written for you to have in your chart". So, all Chuck was able to do was drink water. In the meantime his sugar level is dropping and he knew this by the way he was feeling. He rang the Nurse to let her know but again, she never came to the room. The Nutritionist did tell Chuck she was not aware that he was diabetic.:eek::eek::eek:

The man that shared the room with Chuck had doctors/surgeons coming in through out the day and there was a lot of mention that they thought this guy may have MERSA, a highly contagious thing and so of course Chuck spoke to his Nurse and requested he be moved out of the room next door where there were 2 open beds........He was told NO!!! Mersa patients are supposed to be isolated and I am also immune compromised but the Nurse really did not care. At one point a surgeon by the name of Dr. xxxxx told Chucks room mate that he could give him lidocaine, numb the area and drain this giant boil on this mans leg right in the bed.:eek::eek::eek:

When the Nurse would come in to give Chuck and his room mate meds she never washed her hands between dealing with them nor was she gowned. If you have Mersa or they think you have Mersa........You should be gowned, gloved and masked. I now wonder how many germs were spread from this man to my husband, and ultimately to me.

After the dinner trays were delivered to the room the Nurse came in to give Chuck medicine. Chuck looked at the medicine and asked the Nurse what it was and she replied, "your heart medication". Chuck is not on heart medication so this Nurse almost gave him someone else's medication. Chuck told her that this was not his medicine and said, "you need to start looking at your charts". He told her again that he was not getting fluid by IV anymore and he needed a tray with clear liquids that were diet since he was diabetic and felt his sugars were now getting pretty low. SHE DID NOTHING!

At 6pm Chuck told the Nurse he wanted the attending doctor to come see him and wanted to make him aware of all that had gone on along with getting results of his MRI report so he could get soft foods into him to bring his sugars up. The doctor never came. At 7pm Chuck demanded again to see a doctor and also got a copy of the MRI report given to him. He told the Nurse he wanted his sugar level checked as he was not feeling well at all by this point. She gave him a copy of the report but never checked his sugar level. Finally at 8pm things were getting bad and clearly no one gave a damn. He told the Nurse he could no longer wait for a doctor and asked her to remove the IV from his arm, and she did. He left at 8:15pm.

When he got home I tested his sugar and it was dangerously low at 35. He was confused and very disoriented. I gave him orange juice immediately and his sugars started to come was very scary. He was sweating profusely and very shaky too.

We were not home 20 minutes and the phone rings. It is a woman by the name of xxxxx. She said she was the charge Nurse and asked if Chuck was at home. I told her he was and that he was in bed. She said he needs to get back here immediately to get the IV taken out of his arm. I told her the Nurse took the IV out of his arm and she said that she did not have any report of that.

So I proceeded to ask her if she had report of the fact that he was almost given someone elses heart medicine, that he requested sugar free drinks and received nothing, that he requested to move to another room due to possible Mersa and was denied, and that his sugar when he got home was 35. She was not aware of any of this................WHAT A SURPRISE!!!

She told us that because he walked out of the hospital without medical release that she has to report it to our insurance company and they will not pay the bill.....we will be responsible. I let her know that if he stayed they would have killed him and due to their negligence he had no choice but to leave. I promised her I would file a major law suit against them if the bill came in my mail box.

Chuck has put out phone calls to his pcp, GI doctor, Endocrinologist and his case manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield (our insurance company) and he is waiting for them to call back so he can tell his side of the story. As for the MRI report it was not able to rule out a pancreatic tumor so now he will need more testing done, something his GI doctor will have to order for him. The Pancreatitis is calmed down thanks to IV fluids but moving forward I would NEVER go back to that hospital again!!! I don't think I would even send a laboratory rat there.

Chuck, as sick as he is, was treated like a worthless dog and no one cared to listen to his concerns. Clearly with a sugar level of 35 his concerns were more then valid and it is a shame that any human being is treated this way.

I just hope my son is a better Nurse with more compassion for human life. Communication is key here and sadly there was none in this case. I will keep you posted as to how we progress moving forward and I continue to ask for prayers that he does not have a tumor in his pancreas.

So this is so long but I wanted to keep you all in the loop since you have been so gracious to send prayers our way. I love you all and appreciate the support.:wink2:
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OMG Karol

What an absolute nightmare I am speechless and horrified!:eek: I am so sorry that you and Chuck have had to endure this obvious lack of professionalism and care that your husband so desparatly needed! You must have felt like you were beating your head against a brick wall!!! :wall:

Firstly as a nurse (albeit of the veterinary variety) I cannot believe her lack of compassion and concern :tantrum:. I hope that your complaint gets you somewhere and that the staff concerned are well and truly reprimanded! I cannot understand why they would not move your husband if the other patient was suspected MRSA and the fact their hygiene leaves a lot to be desired I am well and truly shocked. So you have every right to be angry upset and much more, such a catalogue of errors which just should not be happening! I know we are only human but that many mess ups is just rediculous.

I hope that Chuck gets to the bottom of his pancreatitis soon. I will be sending lots of thoughts your way. Again I am so sorry you have had to experience this!!

Lots of hugs:hug:

Claire xx
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Hi Karol

That is terrible. I am really sorry that you and your husband had to endure that. Its awful that when we are sick and at our most vulnerable we have to experience such lack of care.

Sending you and your hubby get well thoughts

I spoke with a woman from the hospital who is the head of guest relations and we are scheduled to have a round table discussion about this.

I am so mad I can not see straight and I have decided that the people responsible for this mess owe Chuck and I an our face!

We will meet with them later in the week and I requested all of the incompetent individuals that created this mess to be at that table, including the doctor who never showed up to see my husband.

Chuck is worried as he is very non confrontational however I am a not to be reckoned with when you piss me off or create problems for my family/friends.

I have made a list of the things I will discuss with this group of medical personnel and I am actually looking forward to sitting them down and shutting them up.

This has climbed into my crawl so bad that I can not sleep as I am just that annoyed and the fact that they phoned my house and threatened us last night was the icing that topped this cake.

I will let you all know how things progress and maybe someday if I get well I will be a patient advocate for people in this same situation.

I think it is my calling in life.:lol:
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Good luck with the meeting Karol, I hope that it is a productive meeting for both you and Chuck.

All the best and let us know how it goes?

Hello Karol
This has got to be one of the worst hospital stories I have ever heard and what a thing to have to deal with on top of everything else you have going on.
Good Luck with your case - I hope they will grovel to you. After all it is a business!
I had an emergency gall bladder 2 day stay in NYC in which 4 highly unacceptable incidents happened including a man wandering into my room in the small hours naked as I thought because his lower half was concealed by the other bed. Nobody answered my bell for half an hour by which time he had wandered out again and I realised he did have underpants on not that it makes that much difference. When the nurse eventually came she was so impatient and dismissive of my fright. Anyway, I reported all these and got an immediate phone call response expressing profuse regret and immediate investigation. Sure enough he called back next day and I also got a formal letter of apology. He couldn't have been more concerned.

It's awful to think what might have happened if you hadn't been there and Chuck had not been physically or mentally capable of taking action.

All the best
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Dear Karol, I am glad you and Chuck were on the ball. I wish you lots of luck.
Go get 'em!!!!
x Lola
Hi Karol,

I didn't quite know what to reply to this at first, you see it all seems so eerily familiar.

As you know my Dad passed away recently but before that he had about 6 months constantly in an out of hospital. Unfortunately it took about 4 of those and my Mum creating merry whatsit to actually get proper treatment. Now, I know his case was medically extremely complex and I'm not saying it would have changed the outcome but I'm very sure that he could have spent less time in hopsital and could have had a better quality of life.

Nurses ignoring patients happens all too often, doctors belittling concerns (recently Mum talked to someone in the cardiac unit as she has extensive bruising while on plavix and she was told "that's a cosmetic concern")... the list is endless really.

My Dad was lucky to have an unbelievably good respiratory consultant. She even came in on Sundays to see how he was and looked after him as if he were her own father/grandfather. Unfortunately the other docs that he desperately needed to coordinate treatment were barely present. When he eventually ended up in intensive care, the nursing and care were also excellent - but why does one have to go so far before you get that?

Twice my Dad had to phone my Mum when he couldn't breathe as nurses weren't answering (this was at 5 AM), she then had to call the hospital and basically yell. By the time she got there he had had to be ressucitated.

He was given two days of chemo once to try and help with his blood disorder and then basically sent home at the end of the day (this is after two weeks desperately ill in hospital). No-one thought to see how he'd react to that. He was extremely weak and that really didn't help. That time he managed to stay home for all of four days.

The number of times that nurses forgot to check his oxygen and he ran out are uncountable. Even when he said that he didn't think it was working, he was ignored.

You can imagine what Mum was going through with all of this.

Most of this is actually caused by the sheer chaos that reigns in most hospitals in Ireland (and no doubt elsewhere). No-one seems to be in charge any more. There is also a severe lack of beds and Dad often stayed three days on a trolley in A&E before getting a bed in a ward.

When it came to actually obtaining the death certificate (necessary to oh so many things) it took over two weeks because "the doctor that signs them is on holiday".

Of course everyone knows there's a problem in hospitals and a lack of funding etc in the health service in general but where does one start to unravel it all?

AND, the first things to be cut due to the economic downturn were money for health and primary education.

I could go on and on but find it hard to know where to start.

Anyway, you are doing well to complain - just as Mum did, it is the only thing that bring results.

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Oh, and I forgot. He never once got food suitable to diabetics and at least twice was sharing a ward with someone with cystic fibrosis - No problem there except that my Dad's recurrent pneumonia was suspected to be MRSA induced - very very far from ideal for anyone with cystic fibrosis!
Wow Katharine your story is very familiar.

I agree with all that you said and when I has surgery in 2007, the day they moved me out of ICU into a step down unit I had major problems breathing too.

I rang the bell and rang the bell yet no one came. I got on the phone and called my mom and she rushed to the hospital.

It is scary and this whole situation has left me feeling like from this point forward if anyone has to be hospitilized then they need a family member with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make sure the medical staff are doing their job.

I am sick and tired of Nurses getting paid a really good living to be lazy, neglectful and not compassionate at all.:mad::mad::mad:

When they do decide to get off there butt and answer that bell they make you feel like you are bothering them. Well guess what.......if there were no patients then these Nurses would not have a job.

I am also getting Risk Management involved at the hospital. Things are really hitting the fan here in New Jersey and I have only just begun. I am going to scream so loud that you folks in other parts of the world will hear me loud and clear.

Can you tell I am a little mad???:lol::lol::lol:
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Er yep Karol, I think we can tell alright and I can already hear ya :lol:

I do have to say that many of the nurses Dad had were wonderful and very caring. There just seems to be generalised chaos, not enough of them and they really don't get paid that well in Ireland at all. Also a great deal of them hardly speak English (a generalised phenomena almost everywhere in Dublin now) and that sometimes doesn't help either.

We received a very nice card of condolence from the staff at the respiratory unit signed by all of them.

In Ireland and they don't speak English???? Ummmmm, that is frightening! Sorry but if your going to care for patients and the majority of them speak English then by all means the Nurse/Doctors should be well versed in English.

Gosh, now you got me going in a different direction about another pet peeve of things that climb into my crawl and stick.:hehe::hehe::hehe:
The doctors do, many of the nurses don't. Ireland has a very large immigrant population and they are, on the whole, very welcome as they are needed to fill the jobs that otherwise aren't. It has actually made the place very "fun" most of the time but at times like that it can be a pain.

As I am, myself, an immigrant in another country, I certainly don't have a problem with people needing to learn the language. I am not a nurse however and I think it just needs a bit more of the old fashioned supervision really. Like, if they don't get it, they can turn to someone else for backup. And that, of course, comes down to them being given the resources and means to do that. Most of the nurses would so much like to do a better job but are torn in two by the demands of the job and the lack of personnel. I can't remember the actual numbers but they are very few on big wards.

Your right Katharine as I think of it.

I guess the bottom line is that there is such a shortage of Nurses that it can create problems at all levels.

It is a shame really. My son is applying to colleges for Nursing right now and it is amazing what you have to go through in order to be accepted into the programs.

So many kids apply to Nursing yet are turned away simply because based on SAT results, ACT results and High School GPA they just are not smart enough to be successful in the program.

Makes sense yet it does not help the issues of shortages in the hospitals. It really is a catch 22 situation.

Anyway, 9am is my meeting with Risk Management and Director of Guest Services to sit down and discuss the negligence that took place. I am looking forward to what will happen as we move forward with this situation as I will not let it go by the way side.

I want answers!:mad:
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Hi Karol

I am in awe of you, meeting these guys to fight for what you believe in, its truly amazing. ou must be a very special person. I will be thinking of you and hoping that you get the outcome that you deserve.

I hope your hubby is feeling a little better.

Looking forward to hearing how you got on

Deb x
Thanks Deb for your kind words. The meeting went well and now I will wait for answers back from the Gods to be at this hospital. They know I am not playing and I am not going to let this go without a explanation and then some.

I requested they pay the $300+ dollars that we will owe as our co-pay from our insurance. Initially the woman said she did not know if that was possible and so I respectfully replied, "Well clearly you have admitted that your staff and facility were negligent so either you can pay this amount OR a lot more when I file a law suit against the hospital and every single individual, including yourself for failure to do the right thing"!

She said she would get back to me about this and every other thing we discussed. The meeting lasted a little over one hour and when it was done she thanked me for coming in to meet with her, apologized again for our bad experience and shook my hand.

At this point I pulled out my tape recorder and shut it off.:lol::lol::lol:

Her eyes almost came out of her head!:eek::eek::eek:

She probably thinks what I did is illegal but in fact it is legal and well worth the look on her face and the thoughts she is now left with.

She said it will take time to investigate this and she gave me a time line of 2 weeks to get back to me with answers. As for the itemized bill I requested they will be sending that out by the end of the week.

The saga will continue and it will be more then interesting to see what the out come will be. I will keep you all posted.:wink2:
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Glad your meeting went well Karol. I so wish I'd been a fly on the wall when you pulled out the recorder. Nice touch!! I hope that the results of you meeting are fruitful in all ways, including staff being reprimanded!

Take care

Dear karol this is terrible, so sorry you two had to go theough all htis, thank the lord you stayed with hubby grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! i would not be letting this go either, and i would have signed my self out, i think this goes on in many palces karol.

you have to be one step ahead these days, you get them girl dont let this one go, Hope hubby is ok? bless hum, thank god your were there for him,

you know when i have to go into local hospital, i get scared, so my dd is always on the ball, yes she is a nurse, and is appauled how she see's how patiens are trweated, and like me not scasred of opeing her mouth, but when its you thats ill, you cant fight for your self as you feel so yuk.

thank god for are familys thats all i can say. take care Karol., please keep us informed how it all turnes out, hugs Lin xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Firstly I would like to say that I am appalled by the way your husband has been treated.
Secondly I would like to say......:hehe::hehe:WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!:hehe::hehe:
I would love to have been a fly on the wall when you pulled out that tape recorder.
My daughter was born two months early with menigitis because I wasn't put on IV antibotics after I tested positive for leaking amniotic fluid. gross negligence in hospitals is becoming so common its scary. :eek:

I hope everything works out for you.

Elle x
I am wondering though Karol... how your husband is doing and exactly what caused his condition and what the MRI results were? That is the most important part of all this after all... his well-being!

Hope he is doing well.
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