Cost-cutting in American hospitals could wreak havoc on patient care.
This has been revealed by the shocking case of the HCA hospital in Florida. It has cockroaches in its operating room, unsanitary surgical tools, patients waking up in the midst of surgery, and an overflowing ER.
Cockroaches and Other Monsters
The issues in the HCA Bayonet Point hospital in Hudson, Florida, which has 290 beds, are not new. They go back at least to 2021, but have now been revealed to the American public in an NBC News report.
In December 2021, multiple issues led a dozen surgeons to meet with a management representative, complaining about the unsafe and dangerous environment in the hospital.
They were promised the nauseating problems would be addressed, but more than a year after this meeting, that hasn’t happened. The hospital has declined to comment on the issues that they raised.
The Bayonet Point facility is owned by America’s biggest hospital company, HCA Healthcare Inc., the chain that runs 125 surgery centers and 182 hospitals nationwide and in the UK. The report points out that HCA earned $5.6 billion last year and its stock is a favorite among investors.
Seven of the doctors interviewed for the report cautioned, however, that HCA’s emphasis on profits led it to cut “costs and corners,” thus putting its patients “at risk.”
The interviewees, though, aren’t just from the Bayonet Point hospital in Florida, but also from hospitals in California, Texas, and Virginia. Their opinion has been confirmed by nurses from five different states.
Roaches in the operating room.
Patients waking up during surgery.
Medical equipment held together with tape.
Doctors at a Florida hospital say patient care has suffered from cost-cutting.https://t.co/IArZnahf4Y
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 15, 2023
TONIGHT: @CynthiaMcFadden first looked into claims against America's largest hospital corporation, HCA, last month.
Following her report, a neurosurgeon from a HCA hospital in Florida reached out.
He wants to sound the alarm about what he say he's witnessed inside. pic.twitter.com/dtEGGiY5AP
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) February 15, 2023
Surgeons recount woes including cockroaches at big Florida hospital
HCA Healthcare Inc., owner of Bayonet Point, is America’s largest hospital company. Last year, HCA earned $5.6 billion, which may come from cutting corners, according to doctors.https://t.co/ueh2KuthhS
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2023
A Patient Woke Up with Brain Surgery ‘Pins’
Four doctors from the problematic HCA facility in Florida revealed terrifying stories about how patient care worsened in the hospital since 2021. That was when HCA management started to reduce staff and add contract workers.
In January 2022, the hospital had 18 “near misses” in which patient safety was so endangered that it could result in death or severe harm.
65-year-old neurosurgeon, Dr. George Giannakopoulos, said in one of those cases, the medics prepared the patient’s “wrong side” for surgery – as they anesthetized the left hip, instead of the right hip.
Photos provided by the doctors expose leaking ceilings, bloody sinks, dangling wires, taped oxygen equipment, and operating room cockroaches. That is despite the fact that Bayonet Point recently opened a new section with 102 beds worth $85 million.
The report reveals, on top of everything else, the hospital has been ridden with internal strife, as management overturned Giannakopoulos’ reelection as chief of staff.
However, probably the most shocking problem at Bayonet Point – with patients waking up in the middle of operations – has to do with the hospital’s slashing of its anesthesiology staff.
Back then, the number of anesthesiologists was cut from 15 to one, while contract employees were brought to fill in.
Their care has been of low quality. In one case, Giannakopoulos had his brain surgery patient wake up and try to get up. The surgeon had just put the patient’s head on “pins,” which are sharp supporting instruments.
A statement on behalf of the hospital CEO, Regina Temple, claimed Bayonet Point was constantly seeking to improve patient care and patient safety.This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.