Word of Anna Brown’s death is quickly spreading. As the Supreme Court hears arguments on the Affordable Care Act, Anna’s death shows clearly why we need health care reform that goes much further beyond even the current system. But for those who don’t know yet I will briefly recap Anna’s situation.
Anna Brown was 29 years old, a mother of two who fell on hard times and was homeless. She was also on Medicaid, which usually pays far less than private insurance. She was also African-American. Anna had a lot of pain in her ankle. She went to three hospitals in one week trying to get care. They said it was a sprained ankle, as the pain continued to get worse. Anna finally ended up at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Saint Louis, Missouri. She once again tried to just get some care as her current plan of care wasn’t working. The doctors dismissed her as a drug seeker. She refused to leave until she could get care. She was later arrested and wheeled out of the hospital on a wheelchair for trespassing after the doctor said she was ok to go to jail.
When Anna arrived at the jail she again pleaded with the police. She said she could not walk so they dragged her by her arms. They left her laying, alone and in pain, on a cold concrete floor. It wasn’t more than fifteen minutes later that they returned to find Anna dead. But it doesn’t stop there. This death was in September, an autopsy was done more recently. The cause of death was a blood clot in the leg that traveled up to the heart. Anna didn’t have to die. The autopsy also revealed she had no drugs in her system whatsoever. Unfortunately, due to mistakes by both the hospital and police, Anna IS dead. Nothing is going to change that and while I didn’t know her, this could easily be someone I do know. It could be someone you know. Naturally, a person would want to avoid visiting a hospital that makes such critical mistakes.
In this case the hospital was Saint Mary’s in Saint Louis. But it even goes further than Saint Louis. This hospital is owned by SSM Healthcare which is based out of Saint Louis. But SSM Healthcare has hospitals in Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Wisconsin. A call to Saint Mary’s in Saint Louis revealed not much. They refused to answer whether the doctors and staff that were responsible for this were disciplined. I then attempted to call their corporate office which said the same. I don’t know about you but I cannot trust my healthcare to a place that doesn’t immediately and publicly fire everyone even partially responsible for a death. If you feel the same way and live in any of the above states, here is a list of all of their hospitals so they can be avoided.
ST. LOUIS AREA-
SSM St. Mary’s Health Center – Richmond Heights*The one involved in the death
I am not saying that these places are bad hospitals or anything about any staff other than those responsible.
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