Did I Overreact? Post your bad hospital stays

    • Anonymous
      May 22, 2006 at 6:27 am

      I have CIDP and this is what happened to me 2 months ago in March, I am interested in some other bad hospital stay tales and whether or not this was something you’d have a hard time with also.

      I had a new Neuro and she wanted me admitted for IVIG since I had a reaction where I was real weak after an infusion in July with another Neurologist where I was bed ridden for 4 weeks. I was supposed to check in for 5 days inpatient although I had been getting my infusions through a home visit from a nurse.

      I checked in and was put in an old empty ward of the hospital.

      *They were doing major construction 10 ft from my window during the day so I couldnt rest
      *The heater didn’t work and was 50 yrs old- so room was freezing, I didn’t know there were controls for about 24 hours, not that they worked
      *No hot water in the bathroom
      *Meals were cold, excessively small and served at least an hour late everytime
      *Didn’t have my ulcer medication and there is no generic for a new one so they offered to take mine and give it to me as prescribed and then I could request it be returned in writing after I left
      *Didn’t even try to give me my neurontin, sleeping pills or other listed prescriptions besides my blood pressure medication so I ended up telling them I didn’t need anything and continued taking my own.
      *Kept drawing blood for the wrong tests.
      *Kept waking me up every 3 hours for 3 days trying to “listen to my bowels” even though my bowels are fine and I wasn’t admitted for that.

      I was there to get my infusion at a slower rate than the 50g in 1.5 hours that caused me to get reactions but the nurses kept trying to speed it up. I discovered that if I get IVIG with flebogamma at 50g over 12hours I have no problems at all with it. But they constantly were trying to speed it up and I’d have to stop them.

      So I could have been doing this whole thing at home for less expense and I started to get angry. They decided to shutdown the part of the hospital I was in and move me to the other side and 5 floors up after 2 days. I had not slept more than 4 hours total at that point.
      During the trip I almost had a door knock my head off- extra PO’ed at this point. And still no real meal at all.

      I found out on the 3rd day after asking the 5th nurse about the food that I could have called down to the cafeteria. I was very mad. When I got home that night I found out I lost 10lbs.

      After not eating or sleeping the entire time and knowing I’d be charged $20-$50k for this I told them I was leaving. Now the nurses threatened me that my insurance would not pay and all types of other lies so I wouldnt leave. They offered to get me some kind of card so I could go down to the cafeteria. I walk with braces and have an IV going 12hours at a time not to mention suffering from sleep deprivation and they think I want to stroll on down to the cafeteria. 😡 😡

      Anyway I was pissed off. Even though it was only 2.5 days of treatment I had no reactions and I felt great for 2 months.

      I couldn’t even get an MRI because the machine was way too narrow 😀

      I thought about reporting this to the Joint Accreditation people but I didn’t bother. The nurses trying to intimidate me pissed me off- as well as no wheelchair or help to the front of the hospital 😮

    • Anonymous
      May 22, 2006 at 6:40 am

      I am amazed that you put up with as much as you did. All of my hospital stays have be just that in the hospital but not at home. The care was good and the service responsive to my needs and wants. I sure hope I never do!
      I do beleive you have some thing to complain about.

    • Anonymous
      May 22, 2006 at 11:28 am

      What an awful experience! It’s easy for us to say that you should never have put up with that for so long, but when you feel bad and are somewhat at the mercy of the people who are “helping” you, it’s hard to do at the time.

      I do think it’s worth reporting (in writing). Unless they know what the problems are, they won’t get fixed, and you or someone else, may encounter the same problems again. Plus preparing the letter should give you a good way to rid yourself of the anger you must be feeling.

    • Anonymous
      May 22, 2006 at 2:16 pm

      You already posted a great outline for a letter to the hospital. I would go from there and add names and specific dates and room numbers etc and mail it…keeping a copy for yourself and sending a few copies to maybe your attorney, government departments that inspect the hospitals and their services. The list is endless. Even a copy to the editor of your local newpaper or TV advocates on your local stations. Think we knew what was going on and if we don’t speak out, think of the poor patients that are not in as good of health and frame of mind that you were in.

      I have a really bad list of things that happened and just let them drop too! Now your message got me fired up to make a list and fire it off as a good letter to the head of those departments.

      Your stay was short…mine was 9 weeks so I have a long list!

      For example the Nurse in the ICU that was adjusting my tubing on my trache and her hand slipped and knocked it out! Air coming out all over the place. After what seemed to be 30 minutes of her pushing and pulling and my exhaustion. I finally told her by lip reading that I wanted her to get the Doctor. He come in and the air either inflated my chest or lung to the point I was trying to get their attention that my chest was in extreme pain. Doctor said “Here we go!” Asked the Nurse if she wanted to insert the tube into my side thru the ribs. She agreed quickly but added she had never done that procedure. Now remember I could not speak! With that the doctor grabbed my arm and pulled it above my head, producing terrible pain in my frozen shoulder. I made a face as I turned my head to look away and the Nurse yelled at me “Don’t you try to bite me!” Beleive me at that point I did not want or ever had wanted to bite a person.

      On several occasions I “floated” the ventilator and felt like I was drowning. Agine not being able to speak the problem was fixed. Once by a quick acting ICU Nurse and next by a Doctor that just happened to be around.

      In Rehab they told me to make sure I did not get exhausted but worked me once in the morning and then in the afternoon. Brought me back and while transferring me to my bed let me fall. Next they tried to lift me back to my feet using my shoulder and the walker. I colasped twice. The second time hanging myself by the arm pits over the sides of the walker. Finally I told them to go and get a lift team that two tiny nurses were not going to lift me back into my bed or into the wheel chair. Took a male Nurse and a Security Guard to get me back into the wheel chair and then back into my bed. By then they had picked me up by my shoulders 6 times. From that time on I had ato be on pain pills for my shoulders and left the hospital still in pain. After rehab had ended I could see my shoulder was going to be frozen if I did not take this problem under my control and went to a chiropractor that turned things around in weeks after the hospital workers had made it worse for months.

      I could go on but my fingers are tired! I have to admit the food was great in the hospital. I had Turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy each week and also Salmon with peas and carrots each week. Breakfasts were great minus the cardboard waffles but the rest was excellent! Lunches were always so different whether it was a fancy salad or a sandwich. A few times they brought me my two containers of diet iced tea but they were not just COLD they were FROZEN SOLID!

      Giving my fingers a break!

    • Anonymous
      May 22, 2006 at 6:41 pm

      Wow. My PCP was telling me I should have put up with it and should have been desperate for help.

      This is the draft of the letter I was writing to the Joint Commission on Accreditation

      [quote]charge nurse and techs – threats and intimidation
      construction noise outside of window
      poor heating
      no hot water
      sleep deprivation- constanly awoken so that nurses could “listen to my bowels” although I was not there for any gastrointestinal issues whatsoever. This along with the continued disturbance of major construction going on outside my room’s window, within 15 feet of the window to be precise provided me with less than 3 hours sleep in the 48 hours of my stay.
      poor food —– Food was brought to me after sitting outside for an hour – so that cold food was warm and hot food was cold. The quality of the food was severely substandard. I was told I was on a regular diet but the daily caloric total of the meals, had they even been entirely present since numerous items had been removed, was well below 2000. One morning I received one hard boiled egg, a container of warm milk, 2 oz of orange juice and cold grits. On the 3rd day when I complained to a nurse about the food I was informed I could call the dietary department and request food. The dietary person told me the nurses had a menu I could use, the menu offered what I had been receiving or salads.

      When my last dinner of “chicken pot pie” came and was not as mentioned and came with a menu describing a host of items not on the tray I told a Tech(nurses aide) that this was no longer acceptable and that I could and have had the medical treatment I was primarily there for as an outpatient or at home and that I would be leaving as soon as the current IV had finished. The Tech then began to threaten me that my insurance company would not pay for my hospital stay if I left. I told her that would be fine and that I would not pay for such substandard care and conditions at a rate 10-50 times the cost of a nurse coming to my home to administer my neurological medicine.

      The Tech left and notified a charge nurse. The RN who was assigned to me then came and asked me if I wanted a meal card so that I could go to the cafeteria myself. I told her I was not interested in that. I was undergoing a 12 hour infusion of potentially dangerous IV medicine and they were prepared to see me leave and go to the cafeteria since they could not even provide the poor meal I was to be charged for.

      The Charge Nurse then came in and asked if I would like a meal card to go to the cafeteria, again I declined. At that point she became irritated and began to threaten me that if I left I would have to pay my entire hospital bill and that my insurance would not cover it. I was not pleased by this attempt to intimidate me. The nurse did not know my healthcare coverage or benefits plan intimately or remotely and only wished to further the economic exploits of Kennestone Hospital and Wellstar. She kept repeating the threats. I told her that I did not care and I would not pay for the level of treatment I had been receiving any longer. She said she would call my doctor.

      10 minutes later the RN assigned to me came in with a paper for “refusal of treatment” with a number of statements on them that didnt apply to the situation. My doctor never spoke to me or asked to speak to me to my knowledge before I left. I was never warned of any potential health risks involved with my leaving either, and I noted “NO” with my initials next to it before signing the document.
      The RN then asked if I could leave now before my current IV was finished because she was going off shift. I said fine.

      I walk with leg braces and although a wheelchair was provided to me at every point from signing in to the facility, no effort was made to assist me in travelling from a long walk to the front lobby carrying a bag. I had to ask how to leave the hospital from the 5th floor location they had brought me to.

      This entire episode was distrubingly stressful. My illness can be worsened through stress and this was entirely avoidable had the Kennestone and Wellstar personnel saw fit to provide me with more than substandard care. I will try to never patronize Wellstar or Kennestone Hospital facilities ever again.


      I just need to add the prescription fiasco, the weightloss etc.

      Then it will be sent right here


      Thanks alot for the feedback and sharing your insights. LadyKITUSA- the whole time I was there I was thinking about how infinitely worse off I would have been if I couldnt walk or had to stay there longterm. Substandard care for people in such serious situations can amount to torture.

      I can be fairly critical so I was worried about overstating any problems I might have had. But you have plenty to rant about. Its definitely good to talk it out with someone who can understand.

    • Anonymous
      May 22, 2006 at 7:35 pm

      Just putting it down in writing has helped with those bad memories! I put up with the Sassy Aids and some of their comments. Meals missed because my Nurse went home ill and they were understaffed.

      After being put on regular soft foods the Aid told me to now chew my scramble eggs and my fruit Yogurt….sorry I had to chew my food to get rid of the chunck. I also asked for the same Aid to open my food containers and she yelled at me for holding her up from going to lunch with her friends. I did speak up and said I would do it myself and for her to leave the room. She then backed down and opened the containers that I could not reach quickly! I was like a dog protecting a bone! Only time in 9 weeks I was nasty to my Aids, Nurses or Doctors and the last!

      I was not thinking fast at first and rude comments were made when a lift team had to come in and move me up in the bed or transfer me to another bed or stretcher or wheelchair. I did not have my strenght yet to even help lift a finger. They talked about me like I was not there. Talked about my skin breaking down, bed sores and wondering how blind I really was! One even asked me how blind I was. I said I can see so well there is two of you! So I can see you if you are over there or OVER THERE! LOL

      Funny how thoughts come back! I also should start a thread about humorous experiences I had….those were the times that kept me going all that time! My daily job was to have 4 or 5 brags to tell my family and friends and share them with the staff. But my sense of humor pulled me thru all the bad times and replaced my fears daily.

    • Anonymous
      May 23, 2006 at 10:13 am

      What appalling reports.

      Every hospital/nursing home with substandard patient care should be reported to the state in which you live. I can only speak for New York State but all institutions in this state are monitored, even though the process is sometimes less than thorough. Send copies of your letters to the licensing boards, Medicare, Medicaid, local media including newspapers and tv stations.

      Bless you all,

    • Anonymous
      May 23, 2006 at 12:22 pm

      [QUOTE=marguerite]What appalling reports.

      Every hospital/nursing home with substandard patient care should be reported to the state in which you live. I can only speak for New York State but all institutions in this state are monitored, even though the process is sometimes less than thorough. Send copies of your letters to the licensing boards, Medicare, Medicaid, local media including newspapers and tv stations.

      Bless you all,

      Just mention that you will report them to the Joint Commission and I guarantee they will get scared feces-less or they just don’t give a damn about their careers.

      Call directors of the units you have complaints about and mention the Joint Commission and if they are being rude to you write it down or record it- people get fired for that kind of crap.

    • Anonymous
      May 23, 2006 at 5:59 pm

      As we’ve mentioned in the past, unannounced and unscheduled visits by caregivers really help. Forget the hospital rules…just walk in and look around. Demand to see manuals and copies of rules. Demand photocopies of pertinent pages from manuals.

      Use teamwork…your roommates probably have the same complaints.


    • Anonymous
      May 23, 2006 at 6:16 pm

      You might want to read the book, “Bed Number Ten” by Sue Baier. It tells her experiences with GBS. It is a bit dated as far as treatments etc. but still a very good read. A nurse at my Doctor’s office told me about it. She said it was required reading when she was a nursing student.

    • Anonymous
      May 23, 2006 at 6:56 pm

      My posts on this subject are angry, and I think background might help. I am asthmatic and on December 28, 1998 had what I thought was a severe asthma attack. The last thing I remember is calling 911. Two ambulances showed up, one with a doctor, and I ended up in a small Catholic (low budget) hospital in NYC, totally paralyzed, on steroids. Six weeks later I was in a nursing home associated with the hospital.

      It took months to regain some use of my hands but no movement at all below the waist as well as horrific breathing problems and a very passive/aggressive attitude toward everyone and everything. It took the doctors eight months to get my lungs into condition for bowel surgery. The head of rehab at the nursing home thought pt for someone with my medical history was a waste of their resources and unilaterally cancelled all physical therapy. I finally stood–for 20 seconds–11 months after onset after my daughter and my closest friends finally were able to deal with the pt situation.

      I now live alone, walking with a cane, and consider myself a very fortunate woman. Two years in the hospital/nursing home/hospital, etc. taught my daughter and me the importance of standing up for myself (sorry for bad pun) after having been through the mill.


      P.S. The head of rehab at the nursing home was fired for cause several years later. We hope that all the complaints made to New York State were one of the reasons.

    • Anonymous
      May 24, 2006 at 3:19 pm

      I’ll bet that at least a couple of you encountered a less than
      perfect roommate during your hospitalization(s). I called mine
      the roommate from hell. When I was stricken with Guillain-Barre
      Syndrome, the hospital’s neurological floor was full of patients so
      they temporarily placed me in a cardiac room. I was paralyzed from
      the neck down and definitely not feeling my best so I was happy to
      see that I had the two-bed room to myself. Unfortunately that soon
      changed when they wheeled in the “roommate from hell.”

      The 40’ish male was morbidly obese and suffering from his untreated
      hypertension and diabetes. When he was settled in, I managed to turn
      my face toward him and introduce myself. He didn’t look at me but
      managed to scowl and grunt his name, “Bob.” I give everyone the benefit
      of the doubt and surmised that Bob was having a very bad day and that
      I’d let him socialize if and when he was ready. Well, Bob’s ill
      temper progressed from bad to worse. When he wasn’t blasting the
      volume on his TV, he was cussing and yelling at friends and family on
      his phone, threatening to leave the hospital because the doctors and
      nurses were putting him through all of this “bullshit.”

      I’m 6′ 4,” 220 lbs. and I’ve always enjoyed the luxury of having a
      great deal of physical and mental strength. Under normal
      circumstances, I would have firmly but politely told Bob that if he
      didn’t cease and desist from his childish, rude and thoughtless
      behavior, I was going to throw his 300 lb. a** out of our fourth
      floor window and claim that he was suicidal and had jumped. But here
      I was, paralized and stuck with an angry, cursing and clearly
      unstable gorilla of a roommate and so I decided to grin and bear his

      That night, I was exhausted from a full day in the ER and the affects
      of the GBS but still found it difficult to sleep. Bob, bless his
      heart, wasn’t helping at all. Every time I began to feel relaxed and
      hopeful that sleep would follow, Bob would wake up having to go to
      the bathroom and would proceed to throw a loud temper tantrum due to
      the inconvenience caused by his IV pole and all his monitor
      connections. He would curse loudly while slamming his IV pole into
      anything that hindered his trip to the toilet. Every time he returned
      to bed, he turned the TV back on high volume until he fell asleep
      without turning the TV off. This went on all night long.

      First thing the next morning, I asked to speak to the head
      administrative nurse, Connie. I calmly told Connie all that had
      transpired and that I could not spend another night in the same room
      with Bob. She said she would see what she could do and left. Well,
      Connie was a real sweetheart. She returned in a couple of hours with
      two orderlies and said, “Let’s go, I got you a room on the
      neurological floor.”

      My new room was also a double but, thankfully, I was the only patient
      in the room. My condition hadn’t improved any but without Bob, I felt
      better anyway. I also had better luck getting some rest my second
      night in the hospital. The next day, I thought I heard a familiar
      bellow followed by a string of cuss words coming from somewhere just
      down the hall from my new room. No way, I thought, it couldn’t be
      Bob! But it was Bob and the irony of Bob following me caused me to
      lie there chuckling like a character in a bad horror movie just
      before he starts slicing and dicing.

      I listened to Bob’s constant whining and verbal abuse of his visitors
      and the hospital staff for the rest of that day. Thankfully, I asked
      that my room’s door be closed that night so that I didn’t have to
      endure more of Bob’s atrocious behavior.

      The next morning, “Saint” Connie came to my room and announced
      that, “due to my special needs,” she was moving me to a private room.
      If I wasn’t paralyzed, I would have jumped up and kissed her. The
      private room was a large, corner room with two big windows, one of
      which offered a view of a peacefully green atrium and the other of
      the famous Woodward Avenue where I was able to see all of the classic
      cars and customized hot rods cruising by during the annual Woodward
      Dream Cruise week. It made me feel lucky despite having the
      misfortune to be one of the one or two people in 100,000 to be
      stricken with GBS.

      I spent the next three weeks in my “penthouse room.” I got my five
      days of IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) there and began my fairly
      rapid recovery. I even passed Bob in the halls a couple of times on
      my way to PT. I couldn’t be angry at him, I just felt sorry for
      someone who’s life had to be so miserable for him to treat others the
      way that he did. If I ever get to that point, I think I’d like for
      someone to just shoot me, please!


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    • Anonymous
      May 24, 2006 at 7:11 pm

      Good for you for reporting this AWFUL treatment!!! They should not be allowed to do that to you or to anyone without repercussions. Maybe your letter will help make sure nobody else gets the same treatment there.

      Please be sure to send a copy of this to your PCP and his/her employer or practice partners, and tell them “shame of you” for not standing up for your patient.