February 25, 2012
Ann, I am glad you received such good care at SRMC but I had a totally opposite situation. On 02/22/2012, I was advised by my physician to come to your hospital E.R. dept. I was coughing up blood and felt weak and tired. Upon arrival my husband and I waited over an hour just to give our insurance info and forms. After this was done, I had to go to the bathroom (I am in a wheelchair due to myasthenia gravis) and your ADA bathroom did not give me room to even turn my chair around to transfer to the toilet There is definitely not a 5' turnaround in your stall which is what is required). I had to leave the door open and managed to get on the toilet. When I went to wash my hands, I got very light-headed and ringing in my ears. I fainted and was found on the floor. I don't remember much after this except for what my husband told me. I was put on a stretcher and placed in the hall of the E.R. No one checked on me, no pillow or sheet given to me and we waited there for over an hour. Upon getting into a room, the registration lady (Suzanne) was very kind and took all my information. We waited another hour or longer and Dr. Joseph Brissette came in and my husband tried to explain what happened. His first concern he expressed to a staff lady was that he needed the face sheet (I assume he wanted to know what insurances I had) His comment to me was that he had 40 patients to see and his goal was to leave at 3 AM. I still was not hooked up to any monitors, didn't see a nurse, wasn't informed who my nurse was, no sheet or pillow or call light given. Dr. Brissette listened to my heart and that was as far as a physical exam I received. I told him I had my x-rays and lab work from a few weeks ago when I fractured a rib and a blood sugar drop of 35. He stated he didn't want to see them. After another hour or so, a tech came in to draw my blood and I explained (Dr. Brissette had already been informed) that I have an infusaport and horrible veins. I have had 3 major episodes of blood clots and have the blood disorder that causes clots. The tech stated this was not a problem because the nurse would access my port and draw the blood. Having come in early, I did not see a nurse until the next shift nurse came in (past 2300). After my husband called for help 3 separate times, a nurse finally came in and stated she would access my port and get some fluids going. No one seemed concerned about my fall. I hit my head, right shoulder and hip. It took the nurse a few hours to get my port accessed (she had trouble accessing my port and it is an easy port to access-I have had it 5 years and being thin, it sticks out very well). The nurse drew the blood she needed, finally got some fluids going and around 3 AM the lab results came back showing a low potassium level (3.1), low H & H, so another bag was hung with D5W and 40 meq of potassium. I was given a pain medication and anti-nausea medication via suppository. I still was not given a sheet or pillow or call light. There were many policemen in the E.R. and a screaming patient in a padded room but no one seemed to help her. This bothered me. I wanted to go help her but I wasn't able. I did not see my nurse until my fluids were finished and the IV pump kept alarming and my husband went to the nurse's station to let them know my fluids were done. I turned off the IV pump because it took over an hour for the nurse to come in and de-access my port. Dr. Brissette came in to say everything was perfect and I could go home. Finally I was discharged. This is a long situation to write but having contracted physicians is not the answer at SRMC!!! All they seem to be concerned about is get the patient in and out and going home. My nurse just wanted to keep me in that room so she wouldn't get another patient. I was discharged around 0545. The nurse prior to her just didn't want to admit another patient so she passed me off to the next shift. What has happened to giving a patient a pillow, sheet, call light, dignity and a physician doing some type of exam? I am sure there was no incident report made of the fall in your E.R. bathroom. I was very kind and polite to your staff but I felt unsafe and insecure in the hands of your staff. Since being home, I have had a severe headache, right shoulder pain and threw up and had diarrhea yesterday. I have urinated once since being discharged. After 3,000 ml of fluid, I never even had to urinate in the E.R. This would have concerned me if I were the nurse or doctor. Now, it is Saturday and I am a lone (my husband had to work) and I am still coughing up blood, throwing up and very weak. I have to agree with several doctors I know-Southern Regional is called Southern Rejectional among health field people. I will call my insurance on Monday and fill them in on what happened. My husband has times written down. To get there around 2100 and leave around 0545 with only seeing the physician twice and the nurse 3 times is not right. To not have a sheet, pillow or call light plus at least a white board with the nurses' name or physician name and date is not right. What has happened to the care in our health system? It is no longer a healthcare field. It is a business.
In response to:
The two-time Grammy Award-winner was on the path to a heart attack or stroke, until doctors at Southern Regional Medical Center helped her get her life back in order.