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[IP] Denver Man DIES at the ER from DM - News Item



I Don't have all the facts in this case....
But just a caution - and a shame that this could happen in a major metro
area hospital.
(I live in Denver)

Complaint lodged in hospital
                                death

                  By Sheba R. Wheeler
                  Denver Post Staff Writer 

                  Wednesday, April 11, 2001 - Officials at Denver Health
                  Medical Center are investigating a family's complaint
that
                  paramedics and hospital staff mistreated their
relative the night
                  he died. 

                  Family members of John Stacey Houston, 37, of Denver
are
                  also seeking an autopsy independent of the one done by
the
                  Denver coroner's office because of apparent
discrepancies
                  over what killed him. 

                  Houston, 37, a diabetic, suffered an apparent
low-blood-sugar
                  attack on March 31 and died about 45 minutes after he
arrived
                  at Denver Health. The father of seven had been a food
service
                  worker at the hospital. 

                  Doris Houston, the victim's mother, said paramedics
                  administered an IV to Houston at his home that sent
his blood
                  sugar higher in a few minutes. She said the paramedics
told her
                  son that he was "acting sick" for no reason, tried to
force him
                  to walk and pushed food into his mouth despite his
protests
                  that he was in fact ill. 

                  At the hospital, doctors said they were perplexed by
                  Houston's death, Doris Houston said. 

                  "I just want to know why my son, who was walking and
                  talking to me, could just die," Doris Houston said.
"If he was
                  sick because of his low blood sugar, I would expect
that a level
                  one trauma unit would have been able to stabilize him
and
                  have him home to me that very night. But if my son is
dead
                  because of someone's mistake, I want everyone to know
about
                  it." 

                  The hospital's Risk and Quality Assurance Department
is
                  carrying out the investigation, said Sara Spaulding, a
hospital
                  spokeswoman. 

                  Doris Houston said an investigator from the coroner's
office
                  told her that John Houston died from internal bleeding
that
                  occurred when his liver was torn by ribs broken during
CPR
                  attempts. 

                  But Chief Deputy Coroner Michelle Weiss-Samaras said
the
                  family was told that the laceration was not the cause
of death.
                  Toxicology tests won't be completed for another three
to six
                  weeks. 

                  "The (liver) injury did not have anything to do with
his death,"
                  Weiss-Samaras said. "It was related to aggressive
attempts to
                  save his life."
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