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The Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center has come under increasing pressure over it's poor safety record. Its original intention was to become a hospital run by black people for black people. Many locals refuse to go to the hospital as mounting evidence of its poor safety record comes to light. A team of journalists have assessed the hospital in detail and have exposed many wrong doings not previously acknowledged by the hospital. A 9 year old girl involved in an accident was taken to the King/Drew hospital with minor injuries. She was given excessive sedative to keep her still during a CT scan but the medication caused paralysis requiring ventilation to assist breathing. The ventilator settings were wrong and a blood test led to a resetting. However the breathing tube was removed not long after even though it wasn't confirmed that she was capable of breathing on her own. Failure to monitor her led to a lack of oxygen. A trainee who bungled his attempts to monitor her oxygen and her heart and lungs failed. She was resuscitated but was soon brain dead and eventually removed from life support. The family finally settled for $195,000. In another case a 27 year old woman was rushed to hospital where an electrocardiogram indicated a heart attack. Doctors did not recognize or act on this until 10 hours later by which time she had already deteriorated and soon died. The hospital has the highest rate of medical malpractice payouts in California. In yet another case, a 43 year old woman underwent elective surgery for ovarian cysts but the trainee doctor accidentally stitched her colon leading to a blockage which wasn't detected until two weeks later. After a further 8 operations to try to repair the damage, the woman eventually died. Another 46 year old woman with cardiac fluid build up started to deteriorate. An inexperienced doctor tried to drain the fluid from her chest but accidentally punctured her coronary artery leading to her death within hours. A 52 year old patient at the hospital accidentally drank tissue preservative left in a glass beside the hospital bed and soon died. Another woman was given a transfusion with HIV blood.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Los Angeles Times
About: California hospital has a woeful history of medical mistakes
Date: 4 December 2004
Source: Los Angeles Times
Author: Tracy Weber, Charles Ornstein, Mitchell Landsberg
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