Cedars-Sinai Medical Center — my treatment in the emergency room
To Whom It May Concern:
I was in your ER on 4/18 from about 9:30 to 2:30am complaining about a surgical staple that I found, left in from a surgery four months ago, Dec 18, 2017 to be exact. The original surgeon who performed the operation was booked and unable to see me till sometime early May. In the meantime, the staple was causing me considerable discomfort, there was swelling, and it would bleed occasionally about 5 or 6cc each time. I was concerned about infection or a suture abscess. I came to your ER expecting to find the best care and the most educated and professional doctors and nurses. (That is the reputation that Cedars was once known for). I did not. Instead I was treated like some kind of insane freak that they could not get rid of fast enough. No one at any time ever actually examined me. I was never touched by a single medical staff person. First the nurse came in, I think she said her name was Olga, at first she was pleasant, but that changed later. She never washed her hands or put on gloves. When the Doctor came into my examination room he looked for a minute, said he couldn't see anything. He decided an X-ray would be best as it would reveal anything metal. He left my room and never returned. I would like to add here that at no time did he tell me his name or wash his hands. He was also quite condescending and made an insensitive inquiry to "out" my intersex/transgender status. I can see no reason for that other than to humiliate me, and it seemed from that moment on the rest of the staff knew and I honestly feel that it invited people to allow their personal politics to determine the level of care I received.
A while later someone came in and took an X-ray and left. He as well did not tell me his name or wash his hands or put on gloves. He did not cover me with a lead blanket and did not ask me if I was pregnant.
Sometime after that another man entered my room followed by a woman who never spoke. This man who also never said his name or his job description (and never washed his hands or put on gloves) without asking me my name, told me there was nothing on the X-ray. He was certain that if there was any metal that it would light up on an X-ray.
I tried to explain to him that I am certain of what I saw ie; a steel ring coming out of and going back in a surgical site where post-op staples had been removed and previously some other missed staples had been removed. I attempted to explain to him, and the Doctor, that the staple was there, it was just hard to see due to all the swelling. Obviously its partially exposed, it has to be if it's a staple (suture), that means it's closing a wound. So, the bottom line was they did not remove the staple, explaining to me they can't take out something they can't see.
Let me be perfectly clear, I understand the protocol at work here.
The medical staff at Cedar Sinai cannot go on a surgical hunt for something their eyes and their tech cannot detect. And there is no mention in my chart to support a decision to do anything invasive to go looking for something. That is NOT what I came in for, that is not what I was asking them to do, and that is not what the situation called for. Just come good ole' fashion doctoring! Glove up and examine, get in there and just look! All they would have had to do is part the tissue and take the time to look on the surface and they would have seen it. If I can find it standing in a mirror, I would think that someone who has already passed the MCAT can also find it.
I came to you looking for some relief from what should have been a fairly simple procedure. A little messy, but a real no brainer.
I'm a nursing student at Los Angeles Valley College. I'm actually in my last semester of prerequisites, so I'm no expert, far from it, but I know a surgical steel staple in my vagina when I see one. And I know I'm not insane (I think my Professors and my own Doctor would have sussed that out by now!) but your staff insinuated that this was all in my head. The nurse even said as much, and the she did that little motion with her hand next to her head! That "crazy" motion. Like as if, so sure was she that I was nuts, that she could do that, and I would not have the sanity or presence of mind to notice and take offence.
Well, I do take offence. This behavior is not taught in any med school. It comes from poor management and a lack of supervision that allows employees to slack off and decide for themselves when and where they will put the effort in to their jobs. A simple procedure that I and a couple of classmates could have done but would absolutely not do because we know that would be beyond irresponsible. We understand limitations and our ethics, members of your staff have apparently forgotten theirs.
When I graduate, I will not be applying to Cedar Sinai and I doubt many of my classmates will either unless you fix your hospital. Please, restore Cedar Sinai to the great institution it once was.
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