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Where NOT to Get Treatment

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2003

St. Luke's Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I will respond to individual questions from those who are interested.

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2003

Some examples of what my father ran into at this "hospital":

RN's, yes, REGISTERED NURSES, who are supposed to know what the devil they're doing, failed to use alcohol on my dad's ports, thus infecting two different catheters (one Hickman, one Picc).

Sick staff would still work with neutropenic patients without masks or gloves. One coughed in my father's face, setting his recovery back by weeks.

My father experienced a relapse of a recurring disease that he had had for several years. He knew what was wrong and told the staff several times what was necessary to deal with it. He was ignored for four days. He had to have major abdominal surgery as a result of their intentional ignorance of his condition. This surgery compromised his condition and contributed to his death.

When he was severely neutropenic, my father developed an ingrown toenail, which the staff ignored for days. This contributed to his misery until my mother raised a major stink and demanded he be seen by a foot man.

My father was not regularly bathed. None of the patients were.

The staff refused to assist my father out of the bathtub after he bathed for the first time in weeks. They stood there "coaching" him. He had no GD energy to even sit up.

One of his neighbors on the floor fell out of bed and laid on the floor for 30 minutes or more because all the staff were in their break room and they were ignoring or paying no attention to the call lights.

The nursing staff routinely left patients alone for an hour or more. Someone could have died and they wouldn't have known about it.

My father's medical record was sanitized before my mother was allowed access to it. And the nursing staff refused to hand it over to my mother several times even though they knew she could legally (medical POA and my father's written and verbal permission) review it whenever she wanted to do so. In one instance, a colleague of my father's oncologist overheard the nursing staff's refusal to allow my mother to review my father's record. He immediately demanded the record, accompanied my mother to my father's room, and handed her the record.

Hospital staff scheduled my father for various tests and would deny him a meal because he needed to be empty for the tests. He would, on occasion, be kept waiting for, LITERALLY, hours before his tests were actually done. When he returned to the floor, there were rarely meals saved for him. It was not unusual for him to get ONE MEAL A DAY on those kind of days. Staff did little or nothing to get him a meal if one had not been saved. They were amused by my mother's anger regarding this issue.

Medical staff constantly lied to my father and our family about what was going on. My father was not prepared for death.

Our family was not prepared for his death BECAUSE the medical staff lied to us all the time.

Less than 10 hours before my father's death his oncologist refused to prescribe morphine. My father, who could barely speak, was forced to talk to the oncologist on the phone and TO BEG FOR MORPHINE.

More to follow. I'm too pissed to continue.

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2003

This is terrible. I hope you are doing something about this. Those nurses should have to deal with someone in their families with cancer; let's see if the treatment they offer is adequate then.

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2003


Thank you for your support.

Unfortunately, two attorneys advised us that we would not be able to prove in court that their (hospital staff) neglect had anything to do with his death. So, we have no case.

All we can do is tell people about our experience and pray they do not make the same mistake in selecting this hospital for ANY type of treatment.

Again, thank you for taking the time to respond.

Posts: 10
Joined: May 2003

This is one of the most awful stories I have heard. I would be utterly devastated. Try getting some contacts at the American Cancer Society to do a investigation for you by making a complaint. Make it public. Contact your local new station or the station in milwaukee to air your horrific story. You and your mother deserve some compensation. If the law can't help you, maybe media can. I sure the hospital administration would be more willing "to deal" with media hanging at there door ready to expose them. Good luck and God bless.

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2003

Recently, a friend of the family lost an in-law to cancer. This in-law was at St. Luke's and was forewarned about the "quality" of the care.

While the wife was sitting at bedside, nursing staff entered the room and disconnected everything from the husband, telling her that he didn't need what they were disconnecting and that it wasn't important.

She later learned they disconnected life-support devices. They had unplugged her husband without her consent.


Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2003

My mother just completed a review of Dad's bills. During his last hospitalization he was used as a cash cow. My father's physicians performed the same tests and ordered the same X-rays ad nauseum. At times, tests or X-rays were unnecessarily repeated.

His last hospitalization was roughly double what his previous hospitalizations cost.

Don't let your loved one become a dollar sign. Seek treatment at a facility where the staff care about you and your family member.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2003

you know i really understand what you mean my, mother (well grandmother) was recently treated for acute leukemia in our local hospital. chemotherapy was so bad the first time she got a stroke on the third day so that complicated everything. it affected her leaving her right side paralyzed and speechless, and it is true that they don't check on them often and they do ignore the call lights, so, my mom would go up to two hours waiting there for her to be check on. we would complain to them but they were just (according to them)always too busy or on lunch break. and i didn't expect them to see her every minute just the point was that she couln't even yell out for help. another thing that bugged us was that when she would get her diaper changed they wouldn't dry her up completely which led to her diaper rash which got unbareable for her later on. so then she was doing great unfortunately in a nursing home but things where looking better she was learning how to talk and then the doctor let us know that was had to go through a series of chemotherapies which we were unaware of. so there she goes back into the hospital for a supposly lower dosage of chemo and doing great till about the second day, she starts bloating up so they said it was normal because of the medicines and then turns this red as if she was all sun burn and then this purple around the face and mouth by the time you know it she was burly making it because (according to them)complications and it's true they don't want to give you truth just the run around. so they kept telling us she had hopes and let me just tell you all her body was covered with blisters that had already burst with puss coming out of them and she had dark spots all over her body on her last day and that is when they finally send a skin specialist which said the next day they would cut some skin to see what she had and how i told him good luck if you find her. said and done that same night after the "specialist" left and the priest came by my mom passed away after a week in a half of major agonizing pain to where we couldn't even touch her skin because she would scream of the pain and that's because she was already speechless again. so i really understand where you are coming from on the neglect you talk about in these hospitals.i also understand that they have many patients and that it is a stressfull job but hey if your not in for the ride don't take the job. and true they look at you like your the crazy one for going off on them but seeing a love one in pain is worse then hell itself. at the end we came to the conclusion that her kidneys had failed because my grandfather which did die of kidney failure look almost the same on his last day. all we were told was that it was from complications. so they can't tell you the truth but they sure can calculate how much you owe them!

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