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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 113493
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was admitted to Town University Hospital on 2/4/2016. I

Customer Question

I was admitted to George Town University Hospital on 2/4/2016. I was sent to the ER from the Wound Center to be admitted because the hospital was full and the ER was on a double red.
It tool more than 9.5 hours to get a room during this time I was parked in a hallway alone with about 8 other patients. while parked in the hallway I noticed several things that in my opinion was just not right. As they stated my care in the hallway less than 36 inches from the other patients I was visited with and asked personal medical questions about my medical history. I was visited by the Charge Doctor, Charge Nurse, Infectious Disease, Pharmacist and several ER Techs, all of which talked in detail about my medical history and care. This just did not seem right that other patient are to be made aware of my medical history and care, as to I was also aware of details of several other patients medical history and care. While in the ER I notice several safety issues, patients and equipment parked in emergency exits, bathrooms not cleaned to the point patients refused to use them at one point, blood on floor ER personal use a blanket to clean it up put the blanket in the assign. container, later a ER tech use the same container to stage supplies to draw blood. There was a time when a Nurse was working with a male patient in the bathroom with blue gloves on walked past my alarm on the IV pump walk to the doorway with the patient then turned with same gloves on and adjusted the alarm on my IV pump.
there was a maintains worker walking thru the ER collecting trash with an open container, after visiting the bathrooms with the same trash can, this does not seem right. The wall that I was parked at had. un know particles on it. There has to be a building code for the ER that states how many people are to be in that space safely in my opinion the code was knowingly ignored, with patient parked alone the walls in exit lanes and the amount of staff in the room, wow when does it shop. I did indeed bring my concerns to the attention of staff, I was told several times we are a little busy, also this is the normal, and they clearly said that I did not have to stay here. Busy I get that but they just cannot violate patients rights and the safety of care this just must be addressed. At the end of this 9.5 hour stay my blood pressure was very high I had to be medicated to correct it, it my understanding that high blood pressure is a silent killer, medicating me was that an attempt to save my life or to cover up? This being said I was put through this with a non life threatening issue, wow image that can you help.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately there is no code stating the maximum patients an ER can deal with, because the ER cannot turn away patients in need of care just as they could not turn you away. This does not excuse their negligent acts in your care and if you suffered harm as a result of their negligent care. So, if you suffered harm as a result of their negligence then you could seek to sue them for the cost of the damages you suffered as a result of their negligence. So suing them for malpractice is one of your options based on any improper care you received.
Under HIPAA there is no private right to sue, but you can file a complaint to the US Department of Health and Human Services who has sole investigating and sanction authority under HIPAA. If they find a violation based on the hospital not providing a private area to discuss personal health information, you can also sue the hospital for breach of their duty of confidentiality for disclosing your PHI and you can see damages from the hospital for disclosing your information in the presence of other patients.
You can also file a complaint to the state department of health and hospitals about their conduct and let them inspect and investigate and if the Department of Health finds they are violating any regulations they will cite them and fine them for the violations.
These are your options to pursue them based on the information you provided.