Here, a pregnant woman shows up at the ER. As is quite common, she's pretty well ignored for hours. Yep, triage and go sit and wait over there. And wait. And wait. So, she gets tired of waiting next to all the flu patients, figures out that this "sit in the waiting room and hope someone gets 'round to me" isn't working, goes home and gives birth to a premature infant that dies.
Would the baby have died anyway? We'll never know. Not that that makes it ok to leave her in the waiting room forever. Should she have gone home? Was it a reasonable and advisable thing to do? Maybe not, but then again, I wasn't the one there dealing with the situation, pregnant and hurting with God-knows-who filtering into the ER room. Was she scared for her safety? Were the sick patients kept isolated?
Is this lady some big-money seeker looking to make a fast buck by suing? Well, if she is, she's going to some pretty extreme lengths for her cash. Most people don't start their day hoping their kid dies so they can get a few million. It bothers me when doctors' advocates make victims out to be cash-hungry crazies who sue at the drop of a hat. I remember once in eighth grade a peppy trial lawyer with a "power tie" came to talk to our health class. (Yeah, stuff like that was common where I lived. Really.)
"Who wants $250,000?" he energetically asked us. OOOOO, every hand was raised. "OK. Now, what would you say if I told you that in exchange for that $250,000, you had to lose the hand you're holding up right now?"
Stunned silence. I'm telling you, it made us think.
Also in the article: Good luck getting any cash out of the system. It's owned by the county. And maybe it's racist of me to assume, but "Roshunda?" Was she poor and black, maybe? Medicaid patient? Do providers ever roll their eyes at the Medicaid folks showing up at the ER? I'm just wondering aloud here, as I could be totally wrong and Roshunda could be the name of Paris Hilton's cousin, who happened to arrive by limousine. But I don't think she is. Then still again, maybe they would have treated Hilton's cousin the same way because they were dealing with many other serious issues at the moment.
Now, watch. We'll never hear of this story again, either because the parties settle or it gets forgotten. But sometimes I will think of stories like this years later and wonder how the folks involved are doing. My prayers go out to Roshunda Abney and her family.