Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jaafgie's Grandpa at St. Luke's Medical Center

From: jaafgie garcia jaafgie@gmail.com

Subject: My Grandfather

My grandfather had a similar incident. This was rather some time ago, so I don't remember much of the story. He was diabetic, and was definitely prone to some form of heart disease. I think he was taking anti-cholesterol drugs at the time.

During the summer of 2000 (I think), he was brought to the St. Luke's Medical Center complaining of chest pains. They let him stay in the emergency room for nearly 12 hours, most of the time unattended, only comforted by family. All this time, they did little to address his complaints of chest pains.

My mom had been asking for an ECG the moment they arrived at the hospital. My mom is a doctor, but not a cardiologist (but an ob-gyne). It took the hospital 12 hours to recognize the need for such a test.

If my mother hadn't demanded that the hospital staff do an ECG after Hour 12, they wouldn't have seen an impending heart attack. They had mere minutes to provide support. My grandfather went into cardiac arrest just about after the ECG was conducted.

We couldn't help but think that this could have been avoided had the staff done something in those critical 12 hours he waited inside one of the most well-equipped emergency rooms in the country. It should have been a simpler case of high blood or mild cardiac arrest, not the massive one that he had, which led to multiple organ failure.

We did look at pursuing legal action against the hospital, but we decided against it because we lacked the finances necessary to wage a legal war against the medical giant. We even approached politicians to help us in our cause, but they refused to help. Our finances had been drained, my grandfather stayed at the hospital for months after, I think a few months in the ICU, which cost I think not less than 15k per day. We would have transferred him somewhere else if not for his critical condition. He survived this ordeal, but with a diminuished quality of life.

All of the hospital's millions of dollars worth of equipment would mean absolutely NOTHING to the life of their patients without experienced people running them. And it's really sad to hear that even after 8 years, the situation hasn't changed.

My prayers go to victims of Medical Malpractice.

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