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I have to make it out of here alive!

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My story is about my stay at Cedars-Sinai in 1998, where I was admitted after a diagnois of a malignant tumor on my Right kidney.  What I experienced after my surgery was quite frightening to me and I was fearful that I would not get out of that hospital alive.

The first incident was the morning after my surgery, I felt an urgent need to go the bathroom to urinate. I cannot recall if I rang for the nurse or not, but as I made an attempt to get out bed to make it to the bathroom, the nurse came in. I told her what I wanted to do, she said you don't  need to get up, you have a cather bag which the urine come from the bladder into the bag.  I looked at the bag there was very little in the bag, then the nurse noticed a bend in the tubing and released the bend and the urine gushed out into the bag and out of my bladder.  The reason I was having such a extreme desire to use the bathroom is because the urine was in my bladder and not in the catheter bag.  I asked the nurse, why this was not discovered sooner.  I knew enough about nursing care to know that a kidney patient should have intake and output monitoring, especially after surgery to make sure the remaining kidney is in operation.  They gave no explanation for this lack of adequate nursing care monitoring.

The second incident happened while my husband was visiting me at the hospital.  The hospital staff had inserted an IG tube down my windpipe and into my stomach to suction out any fluids.  During this time I began to vomit fluids even while the tube was inserted.  My husband called the nursing staff and told them what was happeneing.  They, "the nursing staff" later discovered that the suction machine/tubing was not working and it was removed and another suction machine replaced it.

The third incident happened sometime after 11:11:00pm, when the graveyard shift was on duty. I had oxygen tubing in my nostrils to help with my breathing. It was not working properly and I was having a hard time breathing.  I called the nurses and they did not come. I keep calling them telling them I was having a hard time breathing and I was ignored.  I tried calling my husband on the phone, but I could not reach him.  I then pulled the tubing out myself at which time I was able to breathe better. This was really the time that I thought I am not making it out of here alive and I have got to get out of this place.

I did make it out, but I have never gone back to that hospital. I had no confidence in the nursing care I would receive there so I severed my relationship with the hospital and changed hospitals to Torrance Memorial Hospital.

It was an experience that I hope no one has to go through because you are helpless when you are in their care during your stay, especially if you have had a life threatening illness or surgery.


Thank you for allowing me to tell my story of a scary time at Cedars-Sinai Hospital 

Mary Chatman
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Quaid Discusses Medical Mistakes

Quaid spoke at the HIMSS09 this year. Read this article of the discussion and speech that Dennis gave as a keynote speaker.

See the full article here...


Important Messsage

Our experience has shown that medication errors can and do occur at hospitals throughout the country, even the best ones like Cedars-Sinai. В We now want to work with hospitals to help support their efforts to eliminate medication errors.

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