On or around April 8 or 9 at approximately 8:45am, my brother was taken to the CHC ER by my father for severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting that had persisted throughout the night. Before leaving the house, I reminded him to tell the staff in the ER that he was allergic to everything that was not Tylenol-based.
Around 10:30am, I received a call from the ER stating that my brother was discharged and ready for pick-up. I walked into the CHC main entrance and saw my brother sitting in the waiting area by the PHI Pharmacy. I immediately noticed both his eyes were extremely swollen which immediately indicated to me that he was given something he was allergic to. He had previously been brought to the ER over a year ago while residing in Hawaii when he was given Motrin instead of Acetaminophen. I asked him what happened. He stated he didn’t understand how he entered the hospital for abdominal pain and was leaving with still severe pain, but now with swollen eyes. He stated that he had told them of his allergies.
I became irate and asked him where his discharge papers were so I could review what was administered to him. He then stated he was never given any papers. I admittedly became even more irate and demanded to know where the ER entrance door was. He pointed down the hall. I walked into the ER to a counter and saw three people sitting in front of their computers glancing up at me but never acknowledging my presence nor asking if I needed any help until I yelled “Hello” in a loud, angry voice. One lady looked up and asked “May I help you?” I said my brother was seen here a couple of hours ago and I want to know where his discharge papers are. She looked at me and said, “Oh, we don’t do that here.” I asked, “What the hell do you mean you don’t do that here? I want to know what was done to him and what he was given while he was here.” She then proceeded to say they only do verbal in this hospital.
I was getting more and more angry and was then asked to wait in the waiting room and they will ask the attending doctor to come out and speak to me. The doctor eventually came out to meet with me and after getting an approval from my brother to speak to me regarding his medical report, he then proceeded to tell me that they were just working with bare bones in the hospital and that’s why no discharge papers are given out. I said my brother specifically told you people that he was allergic to everything that was not Tylenol-based and yet he was given something that he was allergic to.
The doctor tried to insinuate that my brother had arrived at the ER already looking puffy. Feeling aggravated that I was being talked down to I asked him “What did you give him? My brother told me you gave him Benadryl. The only reason you would have given the Benadryl is if you had given him something and you saw the allergic reaction and gave the Benadryl to try and counteract the adverse reaction. I want you to list what you gave him. The doctor then proceeded to say he gave IV for dehydration and Zofran for nausea. I said that there had to be something else that was given to him. He finally admitted he gave and anti-inflammatory injection Toradol. AHA! There it was. That’s what caused his eyes to be swollen, which explained the Benadryl being administered.
The doctor then tried to immediately state that the dose he gave was not enough to cause anaphylactic shock, but should my brother experience any shortness of breath, continued pain, or any other symptoms to bring him back to the ER because he was going to be working the whole night. So now it was going to become my job to watch my brother for any symptoms due to an injection he gave? My brother should never have been released from the ER until he was free of all symptoms and he should have been monitored to ensure that he didn’t go into shock or stopped breathing. I am outraged at the extremely poor services being rendered at CHC. I feel like the services have regressed into practically Third World status! Can you imagine all the people who walk through those doors with no one to advocate for them?!
Every patient has a right when they walk into any clinic or hospital to be given a written notice stating their patient rights and sign that they were given a copy of their patient’s rights. Every patient also has the right when discharged to be given discharge papers that states who treated them, what they were treated with, and what their diagnosis was.
I hope whoever the director of that hospital corrects this and advocates for the rights of every patient that walks through those doors. How are the directors and administrators of the hospital chosen and do they have a medical background? I cannot comprehend how this happens and is acceptable. I speak to other island residents and common response is “That’s CHC for you.” “That’s the island life for you.” “That’s the hospital of death.” How is that acceptable and why do people settle? This is an outrage. I am pleading with our legislators and our elected officials in the highest offices to please make the overhauling of healthcare services and quality of care be a priority! People are dying. People are being mistreated. Someone besides myself has to care!
Thank you for giving me a voice, an outlet, to speak for those who can’t!
Caroline H. Aldan