Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Horror Story at the Geriatic Floor: St. Luke's Medical Center

From: Marlene Chance chancesr@bellsouth.net

I am so sorry to hear about your loss.

My mother was only one of the many victims of the negligence, incompetence, and malpractice of St. Luke's Hospital, many of it's doctors, and every single nurse who was assigned to my mother, no exception! As a graduate of nursing from the University of the Philippines, I had the great misfortune of witnessing first hand, the incredible lack of compassion, basic nursing care and professionalism that nursing stands for, as well as the serious lack of basic intelligence from all the hospital's nurses that the St. Lukes employs and tolerates.

The nursing duties and functions that were so simple and basic, and that should have all been mastered while in nursing school prior to graduation and licensure, all turned into major disasters and complications that could have ALL been prevented. These are only a few of the negligent and incompetent acts: (1) bed sores on my mother's buttocks on the third day of admission, not having been turned, moved or changed, (she was actually stuck to the soiled linen from old urine and feces) until I arrived from the United States to change her myself...there was absolutely no reason for decubitus ulcers on a third day, or any day for that matter, if basic nursing care is carried out. She was in a private room on the Geriatric floor where nobody changed patient's beddings for weeks at a time, or until forced to by the family of the patient.

(2) fecal impaction which resulted in acute rectal bleeding and anemia, and subsequent and multiple blood transfusions, plus a stat colonoscopy that required anesthesia of course, in an already compromised patient. I begged for the attending (Sotomayor) to check her bowels DAILY, because she had not had a bowel movement in several days, and only on the 10th day, did I finally get an order in the chart for an INTERN (another incompetent future doctor at the time) to disimpact my mother, which resulted in bleeding and hemorrhage.

(3) misuse of the appropriate antibiotics, having had a urine culture done, the attending ordered Amoxil which was not sensitive to the bacteria in her urine, and a few days later, she became septic and gradually deteriorated from untreated Urinary Tract Infection. This is a disease that we treat in the outpatient settings in the United States, it is basic, easy to treat, if standard care and protocols are followed.

(4) As a Diabetic, drawing blood out of the lower extremity is an absolute CONTRAINDICATION, but the phlebotomists continued to take blood out of her feet when nobody was looking, or intentionally at dawn, when my mother's attendant was sleeping, and before I arrived for a visit. I posted signs all over the wall and bed, and informed the nurses and laboratory supervisors never to allow blood drawing from any other part of her body aside from her arm, but nobody heeded my instructions. My mother died of a Massive Pulmonary Embolus after 45 days of admission at St. Lukes. This clot was a direct result of drawing blood from her lower extremities, simply because the medical technologists were too incompetent and too lazy to find any other vein elsewhere.

(5) Physical Therapist burned my mother's left arm and shoulder while applying the ultrasonic heat, and not bothering to test before using on a patient. I found the burns myself, they were never reported. My mother sustained first and second degree burns that again, were dismissed as "normal and usual effects of being a patient at St. Lukes." That is not tolerated in the United States, would have required an incident report, which was never completed, and would have easily been grounds for negligent action and malpractice.

(6) Tube Feedings. Not a single RN on the floor had the basic knowledge or skill as to the proper use and feeding process of my mother's PEG tube. They practically shoved the container of food as fast as they could, causing abdominal discomfort, unless I stood next to her bed to watch and supervise. Nobody on the floor even knew how to use the feeding tube machine on that Geriatric Floor. We had the supervisor, head nurse and director of nursing in my mother's room trying to figure out how to use this very simple machine that they should have been trained to use properly. Needless to say, because of the delay in feedings, my mother's nutritional status was compromised even more, resulting also in occlusion of her PEG tube, which of course required a replacement. The skills or lack of, in these nurses were pathetic, and unacceptable.

(7) This was rather interesting. At 9 o'clock every morning, a clerk from the business office would knock at my mother's door to hand me the hospital bill, and ask how much I was paying that particular day! It did not matter how much of the expense these incompetent employees were costing me for their negligent actions, all that mattered is that I made a deposit towards the multi-million peso bill that multiplied every hour! And if I did not go down to make a payment, they would call to remind me until I did. At the ER, the hospital refused to treat my mother until my sister made a P10,000 deposit in the middle of the night, when the banks are closed! And on discharge, after Dr. Abraham-Lim's professional discount (the only decent doctor my mother had), we paid a 2 Million Peso hospital bill that did not include the pharmacy and mutiple professional fees.

I can go on and on with the numerous disasters, these are only a few that stick out in my mind and that I will never forget!

There were clearly several instances where St. Lukes failed to meet the standard of care which directly caused injury and subsequent death to my mother. I made every effort to litigate, but unfortunately, there were no malpractice attorneys available in the country, and nobody was willing to take the case in the Philippines. I tried to publish the detailed scenario of the many terrible mistakes committed that eventually led to my mother's death, but the lawyers of this big corporate institution paid Manila Times and other newspaper publications not to publish my article. I wrote to the Secretary of Health, but got no response. I wrote and sent letters by certified mail, to the President and CEO of St. Lukes and to the Director of Nursing and the Nursing Department, and again, did not get any response.

As a Filipina myself, I must say it is rather unfortunate that Filipinos and others who reside in the Philippines, have to fall victim to the poor and negligent, but very, very expensive medical care at St. Luke's Hospital every day. There must be a way to put a stop to this negligent care!

Best of luck with your case!

Marlene Cataylo Chance, ARNP, MSN, PhD, EJD
Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Primary Care Physicians of Pembroke Pines
2488 University Drive
Pembroke Pines, Florida 33324
954-983-9191

40 comments:

khaye said...

so disappointed with the Filipino health professionals.. they ca't be caleed professionals either.. they're so embarrassing!

khaye said...

so disappointed with the Filipino health professionals.. they can't be called professionals either.. they're so embarrassing!

khaye said...

hmm.. so disappointed with the Filipino health professionals.. they can't be called professional either..so embarrasing..

TEDDY said...

I understand your predicament. I can be of help. We can raise the Filipino consciousness on patients' rights. I am a lawyer and writing books on health and law in the Phils. I wrote books entitled Nursing Law Jurisprudence, and Professional Ethics, Community Health, etc. I am writing Medical Jurisprudence with a focus on patients advocacy
Thanks

mhica said...

wooohh!!! that was so horrible! I am a nurse too, but as I read this article, I really feel so ashamed of what they've done.St. Lukes is the most leading hospital in the Philippines, they should have the best health care services. They should really train their staff; really hard! They should also do something about it...

cheesea71181 said...

i would like to know: if a patient that was admitted to hospital has acquired bedsore, should the hospital be responsible for that?

Here in US, bedsore injuries are considered hospital negligence and they can be sued for that.

I am concerned about a family friend who has had bedsore while in one of the largest hospital there in the Philippines. The patient is in coma, he is not moving for almost 2 months now. And is developing large bedsores in his back. Family thinks that it is just normal because their father is now incontinent. But could it be preventable if the hospital has given the patient good nursing care?

dlsmcbatch2004 said...

If every Filipino non-health or health professionals who are trained and working abroad have the courage of at least finding a way to go home at least once or twice a year to teach and share their expertise, have affiliated to each hospitals here in the Philippines then maybe soon we can solve our problems instead of always comparing ourselves to the ways of americans. We are still Filipinos no matter what and we still have to be responsible to our country and the rest of the Filipinos.

dlsmcbatch2004 said...

If every Filipino non-health or health professionals who are trained and working abroad have the courage of at least finding a way to go home at least once or twice a year to teach and share their expertise, have affiliated to each hospitals here in the Philippines then maybe soon we can solve our problems instead of always comparing ourselves to the ways of americans. We are still Filipinos no matter what and we still have to be responsible to our country and the rest of the Filipinos.

dlsmcbatch2004 said...

Maybe Khaye is not a Filipino That is why she stated "The Filipino health professionals"

nicolaa said...

i agree with dlsmcbatch2004. we need to do something to improve our medical and nursing services...complaining and distancing ourselves wouldn't help. our families would have fared better if we took care of them ourselves.

Tutz said...

ahmm.... hi... i am from a small hospital near pajo maynila... when i read your story, my hair at my nuchal stood up!!! i am also a nurse, first year. but i do understnd your situation... '' db nga sabi ni Florence nightingale, wag lng tumingn
sa mismong sakit, dpt alm din ang mga posibleng ibubunga nit?'' basic info lng un,....

panu daw kaya sila nging DOC at RN? kung basic di nila alam?

hay.....

again, i feel sorry for you...

condolence..

FlipMD said...

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon reaction from distraught family members who feel they have been a victim or wrongdoing, however, I have to say this is a very inappropriate and unprofessional blog entry. Coming from a Filipino doctor-to-be, I am incredibly disappointed that Ms. Chance is brandishing other healthcare professionals in this manner. If a person, specially a healthcare professional has a problem with his/her colleagues, he/she must take up his/her concerns with the proper authorities or anyone trained to deal with the problem. This may or may not have been taught in nursing schools, but it is prevalent understanding that members of the medical profession must exercise self oversight with the universal belief that we are capable of handling this types of problems within our circle partly to: (1) avoid miscommunication of facts and truths and (2) to prevent triggering hysteria and misconceptions among the public about healthcare professionals. This is a very delicate balancing act that we hold dearly because patient trust on his/her healthcare provider is one of the MOST IMPORTANT aspects of effective patient-physician relationship; of course you can extend this relationship to who ever the patients entrusts her care. I hope your employer sees this blog and for you (Ms. Chance) to be REPRIMANDED yourself for your unprofessional conduct.

Future Filipino Doc
Medical Student
Houston, TX

SASU said...

I am student nurse searching for cases like this. i was dismay about St. Luke's Nurses, they committed errors that are somehow commonly committed by students like us. i hope the government can do something about this negligence and malpractice so that we can prevent this really horrible acts.....i give my support and prayer to you and your family.

Reina said...

I was also searching for some cases on medical malpractice.

To FlipMD, Ms. Chance resorted to legal avenues but came back empty handed.

How else can she seek justice but getting public support for reforms.

How can we raise the consciousness of our citizens if cases such as this will always be covered up.

This should be a wake up call not only to the medical profession but as well as to the nursing profession to raise their standards and ethics higher since after all, lives are at stake here. With the number of nursing graduates every year, what may have happened to the quality of their training and education??

joieanne said...

I never really thought this would happen.. I'm so sorry about this. I'm a nursing student from manila doctors college, and because of what i've read here,it's a wake-up call for me to strive harder to be the competent nurse that i can be..

joieanne said...

to FLIPMD, reina was right, if cover- ups will always be the actions taken by the authorities, negligence will just be a hobby of some professional nurses and doctors out there who often make mistakes that puts the lives of people at stake. Yes I agree,as professional healthcare professionals, we must strive to protect the integrity of our profession, and one way to preserve it, is to correct any wrongdoings that are actually destroying the lives of people we vowed to take care of and improve the quality of life... MISTAKES should always be exposed, so we can find solutions on how to prevent them from occuring over and over again, bringing the precious lives to WASTE..

Unnamedsoul said...

I'm so sorry for your loss... I can't believe i will read something like this from st. luke hospital. I'm a nursing student from laguna. If it's ok i'm going to share this with my classmates and my clinical instructor by a lecture when i rotate being a head nurse.Thank you for this wake up call. I'm so sorry about your mom... I'm so sorry.

David said...

St Luke's clinic did a DNA test with me and my daughter by a Filipina and it stated I was not the dad and broke my heart but than found out the test was done wrong and I am the Dad. They out me through hell. Idiots they are......

Erika said...

The horror!

I am so sorry for your loss. And so sorry for the way they treated your Mom. I am also a nurse myself and I'm quite shocked because St Lukes is known as a hospital which gives quality nursing care. If ever there's a chance for me to practice...I'll give it my all.

rina santos said...

wheew., so disgusting and embarassing for all those medical health providers who are involved in the issue., i am rina santos who is currently a graduating student from ecumenical christian college here in tarlac city., as a concerned health care provider, as i go along your article, ido feel how hard it is for you those things that you have witnessed knowing that the hospital involved is one of the leading hospitals in the country., as far as i know, as a health care provider, in rendering your care to patients, you must have empathy or in other words, you must put yourself on their shoe and think of something that how would you feel if you are your patient and that thing, i presume that those providers has nothing in them., felt sorry for what happened but i guess this things must be notified in them..

Jeffrey said...

Hello Miss Chance... I am a medical student from UP... I can refer you to an expert lawyer on medical jurisprudence... She is actually a graduate of Medicine in UP Manila and Law in UP Diliman... you can email me at: jeffrey7i6@gmail.com

ma.lourdes said...

Hello miss Chance I agree with you and I'm very disappointed for what that shit money making hospital. I'm a nurse also and at training without pay or allowance but I never leave my patient. I had 2 abandoned pt's and I've always check and change their linens do bed baths and DURING the time of endorsement I emphasize for the coming nurse to do so. Damn that Hospital curse their money making system. It's the money they LOVE and not their pt's.

julie ann said...

that's so horrible,... grabe nman health care professionals na yan from St. Lukes Hospital,.. meh gnun plang scenario dun...grabe ang negligence and malpratice....case like that should be given focus on the country because health is wealth.
they're so embarassing!

neryma said...

hi!i have my case study about the malpractice here in the philippines can someone help regarding the cosmetic surgery malpractice also the case of Black Suedes in Cebu hospital and case about the death of someone because of malpractice also.Please i need your help!in somehow i can also help those victims because im working in media

amalia said...

I knew how you feel.Sorry to hear about the lost of your love one.
Iam a nurse myself(31 years), worked abroad for so many years,
Sad to say standards of nursing profession is very low here.Look at the salary of the nurses,Is that a salary of a professional?
Hope the body (PNA) will be able to put the status of the nurses on the professional level.They have to safeguard the integrity of the nurses too.

amalia

Hal_Loves_Filipinas said...

No surprise in the least. I am not ethnically a filipino, but have lived here a cumulative amount of time here, attended Nursing school and have been a patient in a hospital here, that I can speak with authority on the topic and verify beyond any level of doubt that the account written by the original poster is completely true and valid. The Philippines should be sued in international court for "false advertising." What do I mean by this?, you may be asking in thought... Well, in my experience, at least in the USA, where I worked in a major hospital in Southern California for 12 years full-time, then another 5 part-time after transitioning to full-time federal law enforcement, most filipino workers are VERY intelligent, highly trained and skilled and give most American workers a "run for their money" HOWEVER, travel a 12 to 16 hour trip over the Pacific Ocean to their homeland, and with RARE EXCEPTION, everyone is a Complete Brainless Idiot, who only pays attention to 1.... maybe 2 things. #1 Their God, which is MONEY no matter who tries to tell you otherwise, The prevailing mentality is "The PESO is worth dying for" the similar quote may have been made by a former leader, but in practice, my version is the reality. Then, coming in at #2 is Sex, especially the guys...well that one applies to almost anywhere, but over here it is turned into a product so that a group of exceptionally greedy bastards can get more of item #1, their God Money.

The more intelligent a person is, the less patience they will be able to muster in this place, which is assuredly the reason that the only people with even half a brain get out of here as soon as they possibly can. I would go back to the USA if I could, but although it would be the easiest route, it would be very foolish financially in my very specific case, so I'm stuck here and am trying to make the most of it by adding to my educational resume and professional certifications and TRY to help some people here to wise up. before leaving this place behind until I accumulate enough to retire here and pay other people to interact with the stupid people that fill this place while I only deal with the few intelligent people either completing their schooling, or have come back to retire here to stretch their Dollars, Pounds or Euros far enough to last the remainders of their lives and hopefully still provide an inheritance for their children.

Anyway, Stupidity + Greed = the experience described by the original poster.

zhae_ae said...

..that's really terrible.. coming from the most advertised as best hospital in the country.. i can't believe such great hospital has this incompetent nurses.. i am a nurse too and i think this is a disgrace not only to them but to us nurses..you know. i mean.. those things are purely basics!! they shoud've learned those during their school years.

and now.. because all of these flaws are published... what will happen to us nurses? competent or incompetent.. people from other countries will look down on us.. that we are not good enough.. because of others faults.. come to think of it.. yeah. it's their fault.. they don't know how to do this.. blah.. blah.. blah.. but they're Filipinos like us.. we live in the same country.. their names were not published. so.. the blame is put into us.. it will always be US NURSES!! it will always be "US" who will be affected.. FILIPINO NURSES.

GeeRamos said...

I feel you. I'm still a student nurse and I see the importance of being true to my work and being compassionate. Your blog really inspired me not to be negligent. May God bless your mom's soul. Everything pays off in the end. Don't worry. I wish everyone especially the health providers would be aware of this and give importance to lives.

Reina said...

In fairness to St. Luke's, i have seen improvements.

Maybe because of feedbacks such as those found in this site, they have looked closer at their operations and have upgraded their services and care.

May this not happen again to anyone.

aldrin james said...

I agree to Khaye. I have a lot of Filipino friends and they told me that the health professionals in their country are very disappointing. Now after I read this blot post. I really believe what my friends told me.

malpractice insurance rates and quotes

shan said...

oh no!! preventing bed sores is such an easy way.. as a student nurse myself.. i find it disappointing while reading the article. i never ever expect that one of the famous hospital hires incompetent health care providers..SO EMBARRASSING!!!

kayem said...

I relate on your story my mother also a victim of medical malpractice in a private hospital we admit her due to fever she was given an antibiotic and she suffer on allergic reaction after 4 days she died. the cause of death was steven johnson syndrome, septic shock, multiple organ failure. When I saw a poster about adverse reaction the signs symptoms showed there was present to my mother. I hope there is a justice in philippines for victim like us.

rhainnegervacio said...

i havent read the previous comments and question posted here... However as a Filipina RN, i really feel bad about this. Did you file any lawsuit? those people who are liable should be punished.

tayanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tayanne said...

My sister just recently died from one of the most reputed hospitals in Laguna, Phil. She was some months preggy and we were told that she had dengue. From the moment that she was admitted, we were waiting for blood transfusion but we were not asked to buy blood till twilight. When they asked us, my sister was already in the ICU. She died in less than 24 hours of being admitted. While in the ICU, the nurses and interns there kept telling us that she was having progress and all that...

There were no doctors in the ICU. Nobody can tell us what was the real condition of my sister when we asked them.They said that her dengue was between level 2 -3 or 3- 4. In short, they couldn't really tell. Moreover, when I asked them what caused her coma, the answer was " we are assuming that it was her dengue"... what? Assuming? I was so enraged by their answers.

Moreover, instead of finding a way to tell us what was happening to her, the nurses were more focus on asking us to sign some sort of a waiver which we gladly didn't sign. We wanted to talk to someone first. Apart from that, we received bills almost every hour.If it weren't for the health card,I wonder how much more we would have to pay.

We were perplexed at her death because she was still okay in the morning of that day. She walked on her own and went to the comfort room.


We went in that hospital with a high hope that she would be better... unfortunately, we left with her cold body. We are neither rich nor poor. We can pay for the services of the hospital. The cause of my sister's death is not our social status and not her sickness.... it is the negligence of the people whom we depend our lives to. How many more people should die before medical malpractices are given attention?

Arthur Anioay Pacio said...

MAHIRAP MAGKASAKIT…BEWARE!


My 5 month old grandson caught a mild strain of pneumonia and brought to the LAS PINAS DOCTORS HOSPITAL in Las Pinas City for treatment. He died after four days in this hospital. He was diagnosed with Pneumonia and treated as such until it was found out to be infected with STAPHYLOCOCCAL BACTERIA. A deadly infection. How can this be acquired? It is a NOSOCOMIAL infection.

He was rushed to the hospital and was given an IV where it took 5 times in a row before incompetent nurses were able to shoot the IV to a vein on the child. The hospital should have assigned more competent staff, to attend to this kind of crisis, or at least a Doctor should be present to oversee the procedures. Another negligence committed by the staff of the hospital was when the oxygen tank on the patient was not replaced immediately after it was emptied. No available oxygen tank for replacement is readily available. They went to look for “not so much emptied-tank” to be used on my grandson and it took almost an hour to get one. An innocent as we are, we did not know what implications to the patient may have wrought on him. On the next day, the Doctors were already aware of other besetting infection which was STAPHYLOCCOCAL BACTERIA, thus they put him on ICU, NOT on an isolation room to sequester the patient. Before they put the patient in ICU, the hospital is more concern of reminding the patient to pay first before bringing the patient inside the ICU. Between life and death, you don’t have a choice. KUMAPIT KA NA SA PATALIM!

A medical malpractice attorney can help us determine liability and establish a claim against the offending hospital, but we are not planning to demand compensation from the hospital for their negligence. No amount of money could repay our loss. We have accepted reality that our child have reached his fate and already with his creator. We sympathize however with other patients that had been and others who would be vulnerable victims of negligence of this hospital.

JDMB taga-Tarlac said...

sorry for ur loss. hipag ko naman nanganak sa tarlac provincial hospital. matagal siyang naglabor, kinausap kami ng OB na i-CS na lang hipag ko kasi masyado ng matagal pagli-labor nya, pumayag naman kami. pinabili kami ng mga gagamitin for cesarean section. nung nabili na namin mga gamit, sinabihan kami na hindi na gagamitin ung mga pinabili kasi nasilip na daw nila head ng baby. nanganak hipag ko august 11, 2012 @ 7:37pm. past 8pm na nung mailagay sa room hipag ko. hinihintay namin na dalhin sa hipag ko yong baby pero hindi pa nila dinadala sa amin. nagtataka na kami. dinala lng ung baby sa hipag ko nung august 13, 2012 magwa-1am na. aide lang nghatid at sinabi na hindi naigagalaw nung baby right arm nya. ganun lang. saka in-advise hipag ko na ipapa x-ray ung bata. binigay ung bata n wala man lang support ung right arm niya. di man lang in-explain what happened. the baby was again requested to be xrayed for the 2nd time. after that, we were asked to return the baby to the nursery to be observed and be given proper care. just 3hrs ago, my brother informed me that my niece has diaper rash and it was bleeding. the xray result showed a broken bone on her right shoulder. these things that happened to my niece drives me really mad... i did my best to take care of patients in labor and look after babies in the nursery room during my student training in that same hospital where my sister-in-law gave birth. there's so much professional negligence and malpractice happening in the government hospital. poor families' patients doesn't know their rights...

JDMB taga-Tarlac said...

I was confident na mas matutukan ung niece ko doon sa nursery kaya sinabihan ko hipag ko na wag na mag -aalala. pero mali pala ako. sobrang nalungkot and at the same time ay nanggigigil ako sa sinapit ng niece ko sa hospital. kailan kaya maisasaayos ang mga ganitong klaseng kapabayaan sa mga government hospitals na takbuhan ng maraming mamamayang nangangailangan ng serbisyong medical?

JDMB taga-Tarlac said...

gusto kong mgreklamo para hindi na maulit sa iba ang sinapit ng niece ko... knino po ba ako pwedeng humingi ng tulong? please help us...

andrito said...

A Filipino doctor prescribed a dietary supplement for my Fiancée's migraine headaches!

This happened yesterday 10/17/2013.