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Thursday, October 21, 2010

my letter to the hospital

To Whom it May Concern:

On Tuesday, October 19, 2010, I visited Express Family Clinic around 6 pm after experiencing sudden and severe abdominal pain. When an x-ray showed a mass on my left side - stretching from my ovary upward into my chest - the clinic advised me to seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room. I arrived at Florida Hospital East at approximately 7:30 pm, and I gave the ER staff the note from urgent care. I waited for over three hours. Finally, sometime between 10:30 and 11 pm, I opted to leave after I was told for the third time by a staff member that they didn't know when I would or could be seen.

The mass was blood and fluid from an ovarian cyst that had ruptured - a cyst caused by my endometriosis (of which I informed the ER staff) and a cyst that was disrupting my bowels. Had the cyst contained more blood, I would have needed surgery. If the cyst was large enough, I could have lost my ovary. But "could have" and "would have" shouldn't matter here. Ultimately, I should never have waited three hours in such excruciating pain. Florida Hospital East advertises a 60-minute or less emergency room wait. Your marketing and public relations department should consider discontinuing this campaign. While I was checked in within 60 minutes of my arrival, I never saw a doctor. In fact, as I was leaving, they were calling back a patient who arrived at the hospital one hour before I did. Another patient, who was brought in via ambulance after being hit by a car, was still sitting in a wheelchair in the waiting room - ice on his knee, his arms covered in dried blood.

My experience with emergency rooms in this area is limited. My only other emergency care visit occurred with my husband last year, when I took him to Dr. Phillips Hospital for what we later learned was a kidney stone. We were in and out in less than three hours. So, in the time that it took for me to bleed internally in your waiting room, Orlando Health treated and released my husband for a much more minor issue.

I think it's safe to say that my experience was less than pleasant. In the future, when it comes to my urgent health, I will not choose Florida Hospital - and I will encourage others to do the same. My reproductive endocrinologist, who diagnosed the rupture, told me I was incredibly lucky this time. I don't think I'm willing to trust Florida Hospital with a "next time."

Sincerely,

Your worst fucking nightmare (Not really. But I wish.)

44 comments:

Marla said...

Send it. I kid you not. With a letter like that, you won't be ignored. At least not in any hospital I've ever worked in. Again, I say, send it.

Jen said...

I agree; send it!!!!! Very well-written

kayee said...

Good for you! Send it to the CEO, the Medical Director and Nurse Manager of the ER, the Patient Advocate and the Director of Public Relations. I'm serious. Send it to all those people!!! This should NOT be happening in health care these days!!!

Glass Case of Emotion said...

You HAVE to send this Katie. This is so upsetting. I am just glad you did "luck out."

Kim said...

Excellent letter! Do send it!

waiting and wishing said...

Nice! Unfortunatly the signiture if my favorite part and I don't think they'll get to see it!

Tiffany said...

So well written. Send it most definitely. So sorry this happened to you.

Stephanie said...

That is just crazy. You should definitely send this on to them! I can't imagine...I'm so glad you were lucky this time and it wasn't much much worse!!!

AL said...

love it, and absolutely send it , though I'm sure you were planning to or perhaps already have.

Amanda @ Vegacious said...

Sorry you had a horrible experience at this hospital! I do hope you send the letter - the treatment (or lack thereof) you received is completely unacceptable! I recently found your blog while searching for more infertility blogs to read (somehow it just helps when I read that others are going through similar situations). My husband and I are going on 2 years of infertility problems.

Browniris said...

Wow, that is crazy! I'm glad that you were able to get into your RE and diagnosis the problem. I also agree that you should definitely send the letter.

Amber said...

GOOD FOR YOU!!! Their administration needs to know what's really happening there. Hope you send it, but more importantly, glad you're okay. <3

Erin said...

You MUST send this! Excellent letter

jill's infertility document said...

Oh, what a nightmare! I agree with kayee--send it to all those people!

I'm so glad everything turned out okay, sorry you had to go through this and hope you heal quickly.

Another Dreamer said...

I hope you send this to them.

Very well written and to the point.

Maureen said...

Good letter! I agree with the others, you should definitely send it! I'm sorry you had to experience that.

Noelle said...

That letter is perfect. I certainly hope that someone will call you and apologize. I'm do sorry you had to endure this.

AplusB said...

SEND IT! I am so sorry all the pain and frustrating hospital experience you had these past few days. Are you feeling better??? Thank goodness for responsive and smart REs!

The Steffens said...

PLEASE PLEASE send them that letter. They need to know what an awful hospital they are.

Gosh, I can't even believe you sat there bleeding internally for hours and were never even seen!!

So glad it didn't turn out to be as very serious as it could have been and that you didn't lose the ovary.

Josey said...

Great letter - well written. Hospitals need that kind of constructive feedback. I'm glad you were okay in the end.

determineddory said...

Love the last line about not trusting them with a "next time." Send!

The Wifey said...

Send it ... totally. I hope you do...
I wonder if they respond to those letters or not... but if it were me, I'd sent it certified mail to assure myself that it got to them and someone read it.

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

I really hope you send this letter! I am a firm believer in feed back...good and bad. I hope they listen to you so the next person doesn't have to wait as long.

Stefanie Blakely said...

Holy Shit, Katie! I completely missed yesterday's post. I'm so, so, SO glad that you're ok.

You definitely need to send this letter-- it's extremely well written, thoughtful and straight forward. The letter I would have written would have been loaded with expletives. (See exclamation above!)

JC said...

Great letter. I hope you left the ending ;). I'm really sorry this happened to you. I'm glad it wasn't any more serious and I hope you feel better soon!!! ((hugs))

Kakunaa said...

Good for you! Send it. Save a copy, and send one to the local newspaper, too. To the editorials. Seriously. Something needs to happen. Scary healthcare. Very scary.

Kelly said...

Please send this!!

Amanda said...

I would send that letter Katie. That is ridiculous that that happened. Send it to all the people KAYEE said to send it to and maybe even to a newspaper if they have "Letters to the Editor."

Kandid Kelli said...

Get em girl!!!

I am SOO GLAD that you are okay!

xo
-K

S.I.F. said...

Send it! There is just NO WAY that experience was acceptable!

Kaitake said...

Yes send it! To the hospital! To the NEWSPAPERS!!! I am in the process of writing a complaint letter and you have given me inspiration! Awesome :)

Conceptionally Challenged said...

This is incredible. Please do send it. I'm so sorry you had to experience this, and so glad you were "lucky".

Arlyne said...

Love it!!! I hope you're sending it!

Erin said...

What a ridiculous experience. I definitely think you should send this letter out...to the hospital, and perhaps to the newspapers as well.

someday-soon said...

Good for you for taking the time to let the adminstration know what you experienced! So ridiculous that you had to go through that....

Adele said...

Katie, I'm catching up on blogs today and just reading about your horrible experience:( I'm so sorry. But I think it's wonderful that you wrote this letter and think you should absolutely send it. It's ridiculous that you didn't get better care:(

Dawn said...

You should send this! I'm sorry you had such an awful experience.

jennifer @ What Would Jen Do said...

send it, i have a friend who has been to the same ER twice and misdiagnosed both times. she just had a ruptured cyst and they told her it was appendicitis. she had her appendix out in the same hospital two years prior. when she actually had appendicitis they told her she had a stomach bug. so she wrote a letter and they gave her all her money back. they need to know when they mess up

Rebecca said...

Omg Katie!!! I missed the previus post and i can't believe you had to go through this!!! I hope all is ok and i hope you send it!!!

Dead Cow Girl said...

Man I wish I wrote a letter the the local ER when I had my miscarriage. I talked about it, but never got around to it. Seriously. Americans pay more then any other developed nation to be treated like this.

I hate it.

Yes - send this to them. And send it to the local paper.

Christa said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through that nightmare; it sounds like your husband was so supportive of you but still, unreal. Makes you feel all litigous, doesn't it?

Crossing My Fingers said...

Hope you're feeling better and I HOPE you sent that letter! I sent one to my doctor's office and the hospital she practices at and heard nothing...it's ridiculous!!! Take care of yourself!

Trisha said...

I'm so sorry you've been going through all of this! Hope you feel better soon!

Katie said...

Hey! I'm WAY behind on blog-reading....so sorry you had to deal with all this!

Do any of your local news stations have an "investigative report" or some such person? This is a story they would LOVE to hear about.

Seriously. I would call them.