Entries in Hospital (31)


Woman Impersonates Nurse to Steal Drugs from Seattle Hospital

ABC News/KOMO(SEATTLE) -- Dressed in slacks, a blue blouse and fluent in medical terminology, an unidentified woman walked into the rooms of two patients at the Swedish Medical Center, posing as a nurse. She then cut the tubes connecting them to their pain medications, according to the Seattle Police Department.

The nurse impostor, who police say walked confidently into the patients' rooms without arousing suspicion, is still at large.

On April 13, police said, the suspect entered a patient's room as he slept and tampered with his patient-administered pain medication machine. When the man awoke and asked the suspect what she was doing, she told him she would get his nurse, the police report said.

"When his nurse did come in, she found that the line from the machine to the witness had been cut and that the pain medication was dripping on the floor," the police report said.

Shortly after the first incident, police said a second report came in that the suspect was seen peeking into rooms on another floor and had entered the room of a second patient, whose family was visiting.
When an alarm sounded at the hospital, police said the suspect fled. A family member from the second patient's room reported there was blood on the floor and that the line to her mother's pain medication had been cut, police said.

The phony nurse walked out of the hospital undetected with two feet of tubing in tow, security told police. A nurse advised police that a negligible amount of pain mediation would have been inside the tuning, police said.

Swedish Medical Center notified police four days after the breach, said Det. Mark Jamieson.
He said it was unclear why the hospital waited to notify authorities.

"It's possible there is surveillance video. Our detectives are working with the hospital," he said.

Ed Boyle, spokesman for the hospital, said an internal investigation has been launched into the incident.

"Swedish is and has been working closely with Seattle Police over the course of the last week in hopes of identifying the suspect and preventing any further incidents at Swedish or any other area hospitals," he said in a statement. "Although a delay in reporting the incident to Seattle Police occurred, Swedish security staff continued to investigate the incident."

The suspect is described as a white female in her mid-30s to early 40s with blonde hair that is either shoulder length or pulled back into a pony tail.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Seattle Police Department.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Hillary Clinton Released from Hospital; Expected to Make Full Recovery

State Department photo by Maxwell's/ Public Domain(NEW YORK) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been released from the hospital following treatment for a blood clot in her head, the State Department confirmed on Wednesday.

In a statement, Deputy Assistant Secretary Philippe Reines said the hospital released Sec. Clinton Wednesday evening after her medical team assured her that she was "making good progress on all fronts."  Clinton's physicians are confident that she will make a full recovery, the statement said.

The State Department added that Clinton is eager to return to work, and expressed appreciation on behalf of the Clinton family for the "excellent care she received from the doctors, nurses and staff" at New York Presbyterian.

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters on Wednesday that the secretary has been “quite active on the phone,” working from the hospital, regularly speaking to State Department staff.

Clinton's daughter Chelsea tweeted her own message of appreciation Wednesday.

"Grateful my Mom discharged from the hospital & is heading home," read the message posted Wednesday to Chelsea Clinton's Twitter profile.  "Even more grateful her medical team confident she'll make a full recovery."

Last Sunday, Secretary Clinton was admitted for treatment of a blood clot in her head that developed following a concussion she sustained earlier this month after fainting from illness.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Mom Took Cancer-Stricken Daughter from Hospital Because of Bill

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The mother who took her cancer-stricken daughter from Phoenix Children's Hospital with a catheter still in her heart defended her actions, saying the hospital intimidated the family about paying the bill.

Surveillance video captured Norma Bracamontes walking out of the hospital with her 11-year-old daughter Emily on Nov. 28 at 10:30 p.m. along with a young boy.

Bracamontes said the hospital not only threatened her family, but they made threats to Emily as she battled leukemia.

"Emily, you're not going to go home cause your mom and your dad haven't filled all the forms, so blame them that you're going to be here stuck in the hospital," Bracamontes told ABC News, imitating an unnamed hospital official.

Bracamontes said in addition to the intimidation, the hospital provided insufficient care when her daughter became ill with the MRSA virus, which led to Emily's arm being amputated.

The Phoenix Children's Hospital released a statement to ABC News, saying, "Our policy is to provide services either free of charge or at a reduced amount to patients who are not able to pay for services."

In regards to the MRSA infection, the hospital said, "We steadfastly disagree with the assertions brought forth regarding the quality of care Emily received."

Emily and her family are back home in Mexico continuing her fight against leukemia, and she credits her mother with saving her life.

"She saved my life…she saved my life two times," Emily said.

"I know here in Mexico, I feel good because the me so much," she added.

Police began a frantic search for the little girl after the hospital reported her missing on Nov. 28.  Authorities and medical professionals feared the catheter in Emily's heart could become infected and potentially kill her if it was not removed by a medical professional.

A nurse supervisor called 911 when she realized Emily was missing and described how she was able to avoid detection.

"She was wearing a wig, which is not unusual.  A lot of our cancer patients wear wigs," the supervisor said.  "She wasn't wearing a wig when she went into the bathroom though and then she was wearing a wig when she came out and she was actually covering her right arm, the amputated arm."

Police said Bracamontes removed her daughter's IV before walking her out of the hospital in street clothes.  The family left the hospital in a black van and disappeared.

Bracamontes' husband, Luis, was stopped by Border Patrol agents on Dec. 1 when he was trying to leave Mexico and drive into Arizona.

Luis, 46, told authorities that the family lived a "nomadic" life, and did not have a permanent residence, ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV reported.  He also denied any involvement in removing his daughter from the hospital and provided "no valuable information" as far as the whereabouts of his daughter at that time, according to police.

Police who stopped Luis said he was a Mexican citizen with a U.S. Resident Alien ID card, and that the girl and her mother were U.S. citizens.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Baby Switched at Minneapolis Hospital, Breastfed by Wrong Mom

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- A newborn baby will have to undergo a year of medical tests for HIV and hepatitis because he was accidentally put in the wrong bassinette by a Minneapolis hospital and then breastfed by the wrong mother.

The mix-up happened Wednesday in Abbott Northwestern Hospital when Tammy Van Dyke's little boy Cody was accidentally switched to the wrong bassinette in the nursery.

"You put your baby in the nursery, not even 48-hours old, and you think they're safe," Van Dyke told ABC News.  "I'm holding it together.  I'm just in disbelief, and it was like I was in a dream, a bad dream, and I couldn't get it to stop."

Van Dyke was told about the incident two hours after it happened and just hours before she was going to take Cody home.

The infant had to undergo blood testing for HIV and hepatitis immediately following the switch.

"It was horrible," Van Dyke said.  "Two nurses had to go in through veins in his tiny little arms."

Although the tests came back negative, Abbott Northwestern Hospital told Van Dyke her newborn son would have to undergo blood testing every three months for a year.

Hospital spokeswoman Gloria O'Connell said the tests were "just a precaution," but declined to elaborate because of patient confidentiality.

Van Dyke was able to speak with the other mother, who had to wait 20 minutes before her baby, Liam, was located.

"It gave me peace of mind to talk to her," Van Dyke said.  "She was just as distraught as me that this happened to her, and in the meantime, also didn't know where her baby was.  She has twins."

In an apology letter given to Van Dyke, the hospital states:

"Please accept this letter with our sincerest apologies for what occurred today at the hospital, that in the nursery your newborn son was placed in the wrong bassinette and then was taken to the wrong mother and breastfed.  The hospital agrees to pay for the additional testing that you had done today and will also pay for the tests recommended for your son related to this incident up to one year."

And in a press release from Abbott Northwestern, practicing obstetrician and Chief Clinical Officer of Allina Health, Dr. Penny Wheeler, said, "As an obstetrician, I have personally seen verification of the infant's identifying name band matched correctly with the mother's on hundreds of occasions.  It is extremely unfortunate that was not the case this time.  We sincerely apologize to the involved families and will make certain we understand why our procedures were not appropriately followed in this case."

"I will be thankful to God when this year's over and he's cleared all his health tests and we don't have to think about this again," Van Dyke said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mom Sought After Pulling Child from Hospital Cancer Treatment

Phoenix Police Department(PHOENIX) -- Police in Phoenix are searching for an 11-year-old girl who was removed from the hospital by her mother, where she was being treated for leukemia.

Police said the little girl, who has only been identified as Emily, also had her arm amputated due to an infection.  The authorities are not sure why the mother removed the child from Phoenix Children’s Hospital Wednesday night, but are worried about the catheter still in Emily’s chest.

“Our concern right now is for that catheter to be medically removed.  We understand that there is the possibility that the catheter could get an infection and thereby result in the death of this child really in the matter of days,” Sgt. Steve Martos told ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV Thursday night.

Surveillance footage from the hospital shows the mother, identified as Norma in a police press release, leaving with Emily around 10:30 p.m. local time Wednesday.  Police say Norma removed Emily’s IV before walking her out of the hospital in street clothes.

A young boy was also seen leaving with Norma and Emily.

Police believe the family then left the hospital in a black van and have not been seen since.  Detectives have made an effort to contact the family but to no avail, according to the statement.

It’s not clear how long Emily had been a patient at the hospital.  Police have not released the family’s last name.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hospital Fire in North Carolina Kills One, Injures Three

Comstock/Thinkstock(DURHAM, N.C.) -- A fire at a hospital in central North Carolina early Tuesday morning has left one patient dead and three others injured, a fire official tells ABC News.

According to Chief Willie Hall of the Durham Fire Department, the fire broke out around 2:15 a.m. in a room on Durham Regional Hospital's sixth floor.  He says the blaze was limited to that room, though he could not say what kind of room it was.

Hall says the hospital's sprinkler system did its job and the 31 firefighters quickly knocked down the flames.

“Everything worked and all agencies worked well together,” he says.

Aside from the one patient who died and the three who suffered from smoke inhalation -- none of whom have yet been identified -- no one else was hurt, Hall says.

Despite earlier reports, he says there was no explosion at the hospital.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Baby Abducted from Pittsburgh Hospital Found Alive

WTAE(PITTSBURGH) -- A 3-day-old infant who was abducted Thursday afternoon from the maternity ward of a Pittsburgh hospital has been found alive, a Pittsburgh Police Department spokeswoman said.

The baby was taken back to the hospital to be positively identified, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said. The infant's grandmother told ABC News that the baby has been positively identified.

A suspect, matching the description of the alleged kidnapper, is in police custody and being questioned. She has not been named.

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Baby Bryce Coleman was snatched Thursday afternoon moments after nurses removed a security tag from the infant as his family prepared for discharge from the hospital.

At 12:34 p.m. a nurse removed the baby's security tag in the presence of the child's mother in preparation for discharge, according to hospital officials.

"At 1:15, the father alerted the staff that the family was ready to depart and then it was determined that the baby was missing," the hospital said in a statement.

"Hospital staff immediately searched the unit and followed other internal security procedures. Police were called at 1:44 p.m.," the hospital said.

ABC News affiliate WTAE reported that the suspect was wearing hospital scrubs.

The station reported that woman matching the description of the suspect earlier Thursday entered a uniform store near the hospital and purchased UPMC scrubs. She told the clerk she was receiving training at the hospital that day, according to reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hospital Thwarts California Baby's Kidnapping

Hemera/Thinkstock(GARDEN GROVE, Calif.) -- A woman disguised in scrubs allegedly tried to steal a newborn girl from a California hospital before the baby's security bracelet sounded an alarm.

Employees at Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center detained suspect Grisel Ramirez, 48, as she tried to exit the building with the newborn baby in her purple tie-dyed bag, Lt. Jeff Nightengale of the Garden Grove Police Department said.

Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.

"The female accused of abducting a child is separating from her husband," Nightengale said. "She had told him she's pregnant, and therefore tried to steal a Hispanic baby."

Ramirez apparently asked an expectant mother a barrage of questions at nearby Western Medical Center in Anaheim last week, making the woman suspicious. She alerted hospital employees, who called police, Nightengale said.

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A police report was filed and a warning was sent to local hospitals, he said.

Ramirez entered Garden Grove Hospital Monday wearing medical scrubs and armed with a visitor's pass, Nightengale said.  She went to the maternity recovery ward on the fifth floor where she entered a new mother's room and told her to take a shower, police said.

While the mother was bathing, Ramirez allegedly placed the newborn in her tote bag and walked toward the exit of the hospital, where she was confronted after the newborn's security bracelet triggered sensors.

The baby was unharmed and was reunited with her mother, Nightengale said.

Ramirez has two adult children, police said.

Police told ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles that Ramirez was not cooperating and had provided police with several fake names.

Ramirez has no known history of mental illness, investigators said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NH Hospital Employee Blamed for Infecting Dozens of Patients with Hepatitis C

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(EXETER, N.H.) -- A New Hampshire hospital employee has been indicted for causing a Hepatitis C outbreak that infected 31 patients in the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab.

David Kwiatkowski, 32, was arrested and charged with acquiring a controlled substance by fraud and tampering with a consumer product with "reckless disregard" for the risk of others, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire.

"The evidence gathered to date points irrefutably to Kwiatkowski as the source of the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital," U.S. attorney John P. Kacavas said in a press release. "With his arrest, we have eliminated the 'serial infector' posed to public and health safety."

The controlled substance was Fentanyl, an anesthetic more powerful than morphine. Kwiatkowski had allegedly been stealing the Fentanyl syringes intended for patients, injecting his own arm and then refilling those empty syringes with another liquid like saline, according to the press release.

Since Kwiatkowski tested positive for Hepatitis C in June 2010, he passed it on to the hospital patients, according to the affidavit.

Exeter Hospital employees discovered the outbreak in May 2012, prompting an investigation that spanned several local, state and federal government agencies, including the FBI, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

Investigators wrote that they suspect Kwiatkowski grabbed the loaded syringes when he brought lead aprons into the procedure room, an area he didn't need to be inside at all. They suspect Kwiatkowski then replaced the Fentanyl syringes with saline syringes that were tainted with his strain of Hepatitis C.

Kwiatkowski was known for erratic behavior and suspected of abusing controlled substances, according to the affidavit. Other hospital employees said he would often sweat through his scrubs and made frequent trips to the bathroom.

One employee told investigators she saw "fresh track marks" when she tried to draw his blood. Another told investigators he remembered seeing Kwiatkowski with, "a red face, red eyes and white foam around his mouth" during a shift at the lab.

Kwiatkowski also had a tendency to lie, employees told investigators. He told coworkers that he played baseball in college, and that his one-time fiancée died "under tragic circumstances," neither of which were true. He also once excused bloodshot eyes by saying he was crying all night about a dead aunt who never existed.

When his roommate inquired about the needles in his laundry, Kwiatkowski told her he had cancer and was being treated at Portsmouth Regional hospital, according to the affidavit. Investigators found no documentation to prove this.

Kwiatkowski, who does not yet have a lawyer, was arrested Thursday morning in Massachusetts, where he was being treated at a hospital. He faces up to 24 years in prison. Each offense could also result in a $250,000 fine.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Buffalo Shooter Found Dead of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

ABC News(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- The body of Dr. Timothy V. Jorden, the trauma surgeon suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend Wednesday, was found near his home today with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.

Jorden was wearing scrubs when his body was found beside a creek in a wooded area near his Lakeview, N.Y., home. Police said they were able to identify the surgeon by his tattoos, but they declined to specify where he shot himself.

Jorden, 49, was wanted in connection to the death of his one-time lover, Jackie Wisniewski, 33, a nursing student who died Wednesday morning on the floor of the Erie County Medical Center.

The trauma surgeon, who also had Army weapons training, was considered armed and dangerous. He was the target of a hunt by local, state and federal authorities, including the U.S. Marshals and the FBI.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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