Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And so it begins....

Family of woman ignored at ER files suit

Perhaps a better title would be "Drug seeker dies after crying 'wolf' too many times; Family thinks that they are entitled to millions because ER should have known that this time was the time that she was actually sick"

This bullshit makes me vomit.

17 comments:

Angry Nurse said...

Why do I think that they will sweep this under the rug and settle out of court rather then say what should be said..

Not that the court system canbe trusted to do the right thing even if by some miracle the suit actually went to court.

CrankyProf said...

They'll pay off -- it will be easier. Her family will find a shyster to claim that the poor, afflicted woman was SICK -- addiction being an illness -- and the cruel ER people murdered her.

Pisses me off.

911DOC said...

anyone can sue for anything. actually surprised it's not been settled. the hospital must think it has a good shot at either winning outright or getting $$ decreased.

Joeymom said...

Let's hope it goes to court... and the hospital lawyers pull out all the stops to show how this woman abused the system, then wondered why she was not believed. If she had been getting medications already, there may not have been much the hospital can do anyway- if you already are sitting there with prescriptions for 15 pain killers, and come in really needing one, the med staff can get in trouble for writing you more prescriptions, as accessory to illegal drug use...

The Platypus said...

Research the case. There's a lot out there that a simple Google search will reveal. That particular hospital was failing to provide the minimum standard of care and should have been closed long ago. This episode pushed it over the edge and it was finally shut down.

There are plenty of examples of abuse of the legal system by malingerers out there, but King Hospital, or the county that ran the hospital, will have little defense. She probably would have died anyway, but the hospital's gross negligence will cost the taxpayers a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Her family will find a shyster to claim that the poor, afflicted woman was SICK

Why would anyone think she had been sick? Doesn't everyone drop dead in the ER? Obviously, this was all manufactured by a lawyer.

SuperStenoGirl said...

How do you know she was a drug-seeker? Can you offer any more links to substantiate your claim she cried 'wolf' too many times?

What about the witnesses who called 911, asking for an ambulance to transport her to another hospital while she was vomiting up blood? What about the nurse ( Linda Ruttlen ) who called the police saying the woman was causing a "disturbance"? Last I knew, nurses didn't call the police over a woman throwing up blood on your waiting room floor. Linda Ruttlen was placed on leave because of this and later resigned.

Apparently, the DHS places most of the blame on Ruttlen who continually refused requests to intervene.

Not to mention the history that King-Harbor apparently had, this seemed to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

I don't know much more than the above. I do think though the law suit should be against Ruttlen, not the county, as it appears she was the one who refused to intervene on the situation.

Anonymous said...

"This bullshit makes me vomit"

Well, when you start vomitting blood, let us know so we can call the police on you!

MonkeyGirl said...

"Well, when you start vomitting blood, let us know so we can call the police on you!"

*snerk*

That was good.

Smartass.

Babs RN said...

Superstenogirl, the autopsy report says it all:

http://www.latimes.com/media/acrobat/2007-06/30524153.PDF

Routinely noncompliant, did not follow up with a SPECIALIST as she was supposed to do instead of expecting the ER to take care of it (which an ER is NOT set up to do), and apparently she had a thing for pain meds to go with her Meth. It's not uncommon to see a lot of theatrics in the waiting room either, up to and including writhing about and sticking fingers down their throat to make themselves vomit.

Try as we might, we really can't save people from themselves and trying to do so is exactly what clogs the system.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog but...wow. I think it's a good thing you went into medicine instead of law because that whole innocent until proven guilty thing would probably make you want to vomit too.

Drug addicts and assholes can also be genuinely sick and deserve treatment. If you can't get your head around that you shouldn't be in medicine.

I hope I don't run into you in the ER if my migraine is actually an aneurysm one day because I'm sure you'll hear "headache" and think "drug seeker" and I'll be dead.

MonkeyGirl said...

Anonymous troll:

If your migraine is actually an aneurysm, the least of your worries will be what the ER nurses think of you.

And unless you're exhibiting drug seeking behavior, we will not label you as such.

Go away.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Name calling...Nice.

I'm not a troll and I stand by my assertion that your "drug seeker dies after crying wolf too many times" and "this bullshit makes me want to vomit" response to the fact that a woman DIED on the floor of an ER while begging for help and vomiting blood makes you unfit for medicine as a career. That is not the response of a professional person who is dedicated to healing nor, frankly, is it the response of a person with normal emphatic capabilities. You obviously have allowed the job to beat those things out of you and have become so cynical that you can’t even see it.

I couldn’t care less if you think I’m one of “those people” but I have been treated terribly and dangerously in the ER on two different occasions precisely because I said the word “migraine” in triage even though I have never asked for narcotics nor do I want to be treated with them. I have a family member who has a prescription for Vicodan and if I wanted to I could take them by the bucket full…I don’t because I’m not a drug addict and they don’t work for my migraines…Imitrex does, but sometimes I run out and become incapacitated. I have had a “doctor” try to give me an injection of a painkiller I’m allergic to because he did not read the chart—because he decided ahead of time that I’m one of “those people”.

Your biases do affect the treatment of your patients exactly like the person who let that woman die on the floor did.

I read a lot of medical blogs. I enjoy them and find the stories interesting. I’ve even commented on this issue on another blog because it seems that when medical professionals get together to talk about drug seeking behavior they sometimes lose the perspective to assess people who suffer with the conditions that drug seekers mimic. However, you are the first and only person I’ve ever told to get out of medicine.

You deserved it. Your bullshit made me want to vomit.

Linda

RealisticRN said...

Just curious, Linda,
If you do get migraines, and imitrex works, why would you "run out?" Why do you think the ED should be your back up for your irresponsible behavior (failing to see your PCP to refill your prescription?)
Actually, people like YOU make me want to vomit.
In fact, you should be so lucky to have someone like MG take care of you should you develop an aneurysm. She'd more than likely save your ass.
Have you been to your local ED for this nausea that you seem to be having? Better go get that checked out!

Marie said...

MG- You are my hero! I love how you tell it like it is! I am a new RN and work on a tele floor - that means I get all the crack-heads that develop chest pain. I have learned alot. I mostly have learned more about pain meds than cardiac meds.

Anonymous said...

My wife gets stroke like migraines and has had two aneurysms. Trust me if you are having an aneurysm you will know. If you are having the worst headache of your life then by all means go to the ER and stop worrying what the medical staff will think.

I see both sides of the fence here since due to my wife's medical history (which includes lupus and kidney failure) we are always at some kind of doctor's office, clinic and occasionally the ER. Has she ALWAYS ben treated with respect? No. Did it piss me off? Yeah. But we get over it. Doctors and nurses are HUMAN and work hard to give us the best care possible.

Advocating for yourself or in my case my spouse goes a long way. Keep your meds up to date and refilled. Make sure to keep all of your doctor appointments. Work with your medical team to avoid needing to seek care at the ER.

After all that if you need to seek care at the ER then by all means do so.

Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Prejudice against med seekers killed this woman and deep down we all know it. If a person is a med seeker he or she doesnt deserve to die in pain on the floor of a hospital AND have an ambulance to another intercepted. It's well known narcotics slow gastric and bowel emptying and result in impaction. Sometimes severe impaction results in perforation, abdominal bleeding and septic shock. If the triage nurse was able to put away her prejudices and think in a logical manner she might not have killed the patient. Being a drug abuser should not equal death in and ER. Don't flame me or cry the victim. There is NO EXCUSE for patient abuse! If you are suffering from such compassion fatigue that it clouds your objective judgement I think it is time to enter the legal profession as an expert.