Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Hershey Cited in 3 More Cases, 2 Deaths
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Just weeks after being cited for deficiencies in the care of a child who died while under treatment, the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been cited for mishandling three more cases. In two of the three cases, one involving a child, the patients died.
The medical center located in Hershey, PA. was cited in August for the three new cases following a special monitoring survey by inspectors from the Pennsylvania Department of Health The July visit, according to a center spokesman, was triggered when the facility self reported the three cases.
A total of five citations were issued in the new report dated Aug. 2..
In two of the new cases, the facility was cited for failure to provide expected emergency services.
"The patient has a right to expect emergency procedures to be implemented without unnecessary delay," the report states.
In the case of an unidentified child under treatment for an infection, the state inspectors concluded that Hershey personnel unduly delayed calling for a rapid response team .
'The team "should have been called much earlier, about noon," the state report continues citing an interview with a hospital employee.
The team was not called until 3:30 p.m. or 3.5 hours later, the inspectors found.
Hershey, in response to questions about the pediatric case said the patient had "lifelong medical deficiencies" and was being treated for a "serious infection." Hershey was cited for failing to timely upgrade the patient's care by a transfer to the pediatric intensive care unit, the hospital acknowledged
In a recent prior report, Hershey was cited for failing to adequately monitor a boy who had been placed in a heating blanket. The patient's temperature had reached 107 degrees when finally discovered. That patient also died.
In the second new case an adult patient who was later found to have suffered a stroke was not quickly provided a drug that could have minimized symptoms. The delay was attributed to a difference of opinion among staffers about the correct diagnosis, Hershey officials stated.
When the stroke diagnosis was finally made, it was too late to administer the drug. The report does not detail the patient's ultimate outcome.
In the third new case, there was a delay in getting medication to a patient who had suffered a fall and suffered a sub-dural hematoma.
According to the report there was an hour and 47 minute delay between the time the drug was ordered and when it was finally delivered.
An employee who was questioned by state inspectors about the delay, said an emergency department nurse had said the drug would not be administrated immediately because a shift change was scheduled shortly. That nurse later denied any recollection of making that comment.
In its statement in response to questions about the new citations, Hershey said, "Instances such as this are inconsistent with the high quality care our community has come to expect from us - and which we expect from ourselves. We deeply regret when we fall short of those expectations."