Monday, December 14, 2009

Heart Attack patient told to take a seat dies in ER lobby

Late last month Joaquin Rivera, 63, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania walked into a hospital ER complaining of pain in his left arm and torso. He was told to take a seat and did so. He died waiting.

The details can be found in this posting in the Philadelphia Daily. His family believes he died of a heart attack and I suspect that will be confirmed with the test results.

To know that another patient had encountered a similar visit just a few months before and walked out before it was too late and that hospital employees walked by not noticing of his death shows that this is not an isolated event. This is bad health care.

He was at the right place at the right time while having a heart attack. All of the hospital emergency rooms I am aware of have triage rules that place this type of patient at the top of the priority list. After all, it is a time sensitive medical crisis that requires immediate attention.

He sat right across from windows where staff could easily see waiting patients in distress. In fact during the robbery you can see movement in both sets of windows of staff.

Community protests took place outside of the ER last weekend (December 7). The picture reads:
"A man with health insurance went with a pain in the chest to the hospital and after 1 hour & 18 minutes without receiving any type of medical help died from a heart attack in the waiting room and robbed in front of the hospital security. We Want Justice!!! "

And I couldn't agree more. Please help us improve health care by sharing your voice (experience) on Things like this should NEVER happen!

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