America’s Worst Hospital?

Posted by Mike Merritt in Rambling, Society on

I’ve heard this story before, but now that I see what seems to be all the details, I now think more than ever that this place is a disgusting example of bad horrible health care.

The subject of tonight’s entry is the Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital of Los Angeles, California. The incident in particular I speak of concerns Edith Isabel Rodriguez, who died in the hospital last month while pleading with the hospital staff for help with pain in her stomach. She had apparently been previously seen by doctors, who diagnosed her with gallstones, gave her a prescription, and sent her on her merry way. However, this time was different, and to save the easily woozy their lunch, I’ll continue on the flip side.

She came in to the hospital wheeled in by county police officers, and was disregarded by the hospital staff. After a period of time, she slipped out of her wheelchair, and started vomiting blood. The hospital staff continued to ignore her. Um, hello! You don’t need to have a fucking Ph.D to know that vomiting blood is a bad thing. Eventually, her boyfriend came in to check on her, and tried to get her help, but to no avail. He called 911 and pleaded the situation, again to no avail. She was then arrested on a parole violation, and basically taken outside to die. She did eventually get an ambulance, but didn’t make it.

This sickens me to no end. I hope that the authorities are able to get the tapes of what happened, and that each and every nurse, doctor, and other hospital employee that walked by her and did nothing is charged with criminal negligence. And this isn’t the first time stuff like this has happened. This hospital happens to have a long history of problems. I won’t go into the nitty gritty details, but it seems to me that this place should have been closed a long time ago, after several empty promises by the management to fix up their act. Now it seems as if a closing is in its future. It’s kind of sad since this place was started with so many good intentions, opening after the 1965 Watts riots, in order to respond quickly to gang activity in a low-income neighborhood. Since the problems at the hospital have started, the trauma center has been closed to direct efforts toward fixing other areas, but obviously, that has been a complete and utter failure.

As someone who’s spent a good amount of time going to hospitals, I know no hospital is perfect. There’s the usual long waits, bureaucracy, sometimes not-so-caring doctors, and other things. However, the problems at this hospital go above and beyond what is an ordinary issue at a hospital. Though it’s going to cause some problems in the treatment of patients, it’s my personal opinion that this place needs to be closed. Patients cannot continue receiving substandard care just because it’s the closest place. Overall, this hospital seems to have suffered fatal mismanagement and probably improperly trained staff. Such a hospital can hardly deal with itself, never mind the patients that came in. Closing the hospital will end this dark stain on Los Angeles, and hopefully allow for future patients to receive better care.

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