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Man dies while waiting in understaffed emergency room

Anyone who has been to a hospital's emergency room knows how busy they can become. Despite a high volume of patients, hospitals should have the resources on hand to prioritize the needs of patients and ensure that they receive necessary care.

One 30-year-old man became the victim of an inadequately staffed medical facility after checking into an emergency room on a recent night. According to a report from the International Business Times, the man told medical professionals about a concerning rash he was dealing with. A staff member recorded his vital signs and told him to wait. Hours later, the man still hadn't been given medical attention. Unfortunately, the 8-hour wait was too long and the man passed away in an emergency room chair.

Shortly after the incident occurred, an emergency room staff member anonymously provided information about the conditions at the hospital the night the man died. The ER was so busy and so short-staffed that no one checked in on the man, nor did anyone try to find him when his name was called several times for his medical visit.

Hospital officials say that they did, in fact, look in on the man multiple times before he died. Despite this claim, the staff member who came forward said there was no way that the staff would have been able to do that given how inundated they were. Ultimately, the ER worker believes that hospital error is the reason behind the man's death.

Only weeks ago, we covered the death of a 26-year-old medical school graduate whose condition went undiagnosed because the hospital she visited was also understaffed. Neither of these two stories took place in New Mexico, but the cases might reveal a much deeper, nationwide problem. When hospitals fail to provide adequate staffing levels, tragedy can strike. One positive thing that could emerge from this type of case is reform. Hopefully medical institutions will do what is needed to properly address the needs of patients who urgently need care.

Source: International Business Times, "Who Is John Verrier? NY Man Dies After 8-Hour Wait In Emergency Room," Treye Green, Jan. 25, 2014 

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