Denver hospital closed to new patients after inadequate staffing and training cause death
The Colorado Orthopaedic and Surgical Hospital was closed to elective surgeries after a 25-year old died following surgery and a drug administration error. The state inspectors found that the hospital--which relied upon a neighboring hospital to provide emergency services and which was forced to call EMTs to respond to Hilary Carpenter's complications--was unprepared for emergencies due to inadequate training and staffing. The wrong drug had been given to the young woman, in the wrong dose and via the wrong means of administration, causing her to suffer cardiac and respiratory distress. The responders were unfamiliar with the crash cart and its contents and could not revive her in what became a scene of "chaos." Responders from the nearby hospital could not locate the proper room for twenty minutes and EMTs from an ambulance service had to be called! Ultimately Carpenter's family was forced to remove her life support.
These problems demonstrate the danger to patients when for-profit hospitals are incorporated by doctors and others to maximize their income from various procedures. That practice has become endemic under the current "leave no dollar on the table" approach to providing medical care. An outpatient surgical center of that nature was recently blamed for inadequate sterilization techniques leading to serious illnesses among patients undergoing routine endoscopy procedures.
Don't you wonder how this hospital was approved to begin with? And where was the Joint Commission on Accreditation which theoretically allows hospitals to self-regulate? This case makes for a sound argument in favor of punitive damages: I hope they are allowed in Colorado. An example should be made of this place.