In 2007, a Hunter College student called 911 and the Poison Control Center after consuming Ephedra, a few beers, and an herbal sleep remedy over the course of a day and finding that she had accidently poisoned herself.
The Poison Control Center operator suggested that she wait for the 911 response or call a friend or her mother who lived out of state. The Health Department later conceded that the Poison Control Center had mishandled the victim’s call and the responder was fired immediately.
An ambulance eventually took the victim to an emergency room in Brooklyn where she was given two anti-nausea drugs and two intravenous doses of a strong sedative. At this point, the story takes an even worse turn. No vital signs were entered over a period of three hours after the victim arrived at the hospital, indicating she was left unattended. She was eventually found in an “overflow” area of the hospital with a racing heartbeat and she was foaming at the mouth.
That evening, the victim was brain-damaged, on life support, with irreversible damage. Her parents from out-of-state arrived and transferred her to another hospital, as a last-ditch effort, but to no avail.
While it appears the victim may have suffered a heart attack—triggered by the combination of drugs, alcohol, and the herbal remedy—she did not deserve the medical treatment she received. The medical director who now oversees the hospital where the victim received inadequate care has stated that several changes have taken place since 2007, including electronic medical records, which would prevent a similar tragedy from occurring again.
Unfortunately, the victim, or her family, will benefit from the changes.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.