A Dallas man, died at Parkland Memorial Hospital emergency room after waiting nearly 19 hours for treatment.
The 58 year old collapsed just as he was about to receive medical treatment. Doctors were unable to revive him, and the cause of death is not yet known. Apparently he was suffering severe abdominal pain, when his sister drove him to the emergency room.
Parkland Hospital officials said they are investigating the death.
Parkland has had problems with excessive ER waits for years.
The patient’s sister, was with him when he grabbed his chest and collapsed after waiting 19 hours in the ER. Relatives said that the man, who did not have health insurance, was calm about waiting so long because he had done so before; previously on other occasions he has had to wait 24 hours.
A November 2004 consultant’s study of Parkland found that wait times in the emergency room were “excessive” and that patients were dissatisfied. At that time, it reported, the average Parkland emergency room visit was 7 1/2 hours, while ER patients who needed to be admitted faced a 13-hour wait for a bed. Because of the lengthy waits, more than 10 percent of patients left without being seen by a doctor, the report said.
In January 2008, Parkland’s ER was the focus of an ABC News special report. One nurse was quoted as talking about patients who had been in the ER waiting room for 24 hours before being seen.
Medical Analysis: Unconscionable delay in the ER treatment by Parkland. No excuses, they need more nursing staff and doctors or close the ER down. Apathy rules at Parkland.
Legal Analysis: Shaft job. As always the sick and the most vunerable in our society take the brunt of poor medical care. This case has obvious wider implications of the 42 million and growing uninsured Americans and their lack of medical care. What does it say about a rich state and a rich city that cannot take care of its indigent population. Welcome to the 3rd World right here in Dallas. And guess what, no significant legal recourse; Parkland since it is a government hospital and therefore a state entity, it is protected by sovereign immunity and limits on lawsuits.