I have just returned from a visit at the Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center that was so terrible, that I Feel that I should make a formal complaint, and still may, but I thought it may be more effective to share the experience here. I am not going to mention names, other than the facility we visited.
Just a quick bit of history. My soon to be wife, has been suffering from an intractable migraine for Several months now, and occasionally the pain will spike severely. This was the case a couple weeks back, when we made our first visit to this particular Emergency room. I will say, that we were pleased with that visit, except for the time it took, but I do understand that does happen when going to the Hospital. During this first visit, the emergency room doctor tried a first treatment, which barely touched the symptoms. The treatment took roughly 20-30 minutes, and then we waited nearly 3 hours for the Doctor to return to check the results. Again, We totally understand that there are reasons the doctor may not be able to get back right away, and I am not complaining about that. We explained that the first treatment really didn’t do much of anything, and the Doctor tried a different drug. This one made the pain nearly go away completely! at this point we were very pleased with the service, and left feeling very good about the hospital. My soon to be wife felt better over the last two weeks, than she had in the last several months. I did take note of the medications that were administered, in case she had another spike in the pain, and we had to return.
Well, that spike happened this evening. My Wonderful woman, was again, in terrible pain, and it was so bad, (9 on a scale of 1 to 10), that we decided it would be best to return to the Saint Joe, Since we were very happy with the results from our previous visit. This time, however, was probably the worst visit I have ever had at a hospital emergency room.
We came in, and went through the normal routine of check in, taking Vitals, and initial description of the problem, and taken to the examination room. Everything up to this point, was just fine. Everything that followed, not so much.
The Doctor came in to talk to us about the issues. She gave him a brief description of the symptoms, asked when the last time she took anything was, and that was about the time he stopped listening to what we had to say. he went in to a very quick rundown of how many medications there are to try, and how some work for one person, and not the next, etc. etc., and then said he was going to give her what she was given the last time. We tried two or three times during the exchange to tell him which medication worked the last time we were here, (and if he had read the previous history he should have actually known this), but he had pretty much stopped listening to us. (for some reason he was he spent maybe 3-4 minutes in this whole exchange, and talked so fast we could barely make out what he was trying to say). He then said he would write up his report, and have the nurses come in and administer the medication, and we would be discharged in a few minutes, and bolted out the door. We looked at each other, and were really stunned at how quickly that went.
A couple minutes later, The nurse came in to give her the meds. We asked what she was giving her, and when she told us, we realized that it was the same thing we got in the first treatment in the previous visit, the ones that didn’t work. We tried to say something, but she just said that is what the doctor prescribed and proceeded to administer the medicine, one shot in each leg.
Now I also wish to point out, that in our first visit to this emergency room, when she received these two medications, she was first given and IV, and the medications were administered via the connecting tube for the IV. they informed us that they gave her the IV to help with hydration, and to make the medication work better. Also, the nurse that administered them in the first visit, took care to add the medications slowly to the IV, because she knew how bad they burned.
That didn’t happen this time. The nurse took little or no care, and had both the shots completed in less than a minute. She then left saying she would work up the discharge so we could leave in 15 minutes. So now, I am beside myself, watching my lovely woman sit there, in agony, not just because of the migraine, but also because of the burning in both her legs, and the hospital staff, as far as we could see, just wanting to get rid of us. I was furious at this point, but some how we managed to keep our cool, and decided we would wait until the time had elapsed, and ask to see the doctor again.
The nurse took a little more than the 15 minutes, but came in ready to discharge us. At this time my lovely woman was feeling worse than when she came, we were both ticked off, and she was pushing us out the door. We then told the nurse that we wished to talk to the doctor again, since the medication that was given had no effect, and we again tried to tell them about the second medication that was given on the previous visit, that actually did work. The nurse told us that the doctor was in the middle of a ‘procedure’, but she would tell him that we wanted to see him again. She then left the room.
A few minutes, later, the Nurse returned, and told us that the Doctor is sticking with the discharge, as he sees no emergency here, and told us we could leave. I asked for the Doctors name again, because I was very unhappy with the visit, and she told me it would be in the discharge papers, and again left the room. Both of us, feeling discussed with the poor service we received, we decided we might as well just leave, as we obviously weren’t going to get anywhere with this lousy doctor, that didn’t even have the time to come talk to us a second time.
As she was getting her clothes back on, I went through the discharge papers, to see who the doctor was, and of course, his name was not in any of the paperwork we were given! I went through the paperwork a couple times, just to be sure. As we were leaving, I found the nurse and told her the name was not on the paperwork, and asked that she write it down for me. As she was writing it down, she was saying, you know, you can’t make a doctor give you a medication. I responded, that’s not the point, he never even listened to what we were trying to say, and I would be filing a complaint. She just kind of looked disgusted and gave me the paperwork back with his last name only written down.
After leaving the hospital, with My love feeling 3 times worse than she did when we arrived there, we arrived at home and my love had to vomit a few minutes later, and then she lied down to try and rest. It is now about two hours later, she has been tossing and turning and just got up again to vomit. I asked if she felt any better and she said a little, but I can tell she really doesn’t.
I also just read through the paperwork we were given, and it did list the medicine that was administered to her tonight. It also says on this paperwork, that the medication is an IRRITANT, and should be diluted with NS, (whatever NS is), and administered through a running IV over at least 2 to 4 minutes, in the port furthest from the patient’s vein. Again, this was given with an injection into one of her legs, and pushed in over about 5-10 seconds.
Now I may be nobody when it comes to Medicine, but I am quite sure that NOBODY deserves the treatment that My love received during this visit. My hope is that someone in the administration of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka Indiana, will see this and comment, or contact me, and try and explain how service of this low caliber is possible at their facility.
This happened on 8/10/2013. just got done writing about it at 2:30 the next morning. too much adrenalin to sleep.