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Hospital did not treat us with respect


Last updated 11/17/2006 at Noon

For the sake of my 4-month-old son Lucas, first and foremost, I thank God that an incident on October 18 was not a life-threatening emergency. Second, I am glad that my son’s illness did not further contribute to Fallbrook Hospital’s bad reputation.

That night, my son had complications holding down food and suddenly exhibited a shift in consciousness. He needed medical attention quickly, so we decided to employ the emergency room.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. we arrived at the hospital with our sick infant. We were not greeted, not even spoken to. We were stared at. The nurse was upset or stressed out. “Hi, we need to be seen,” I said. “Why don’t you go over and sit down and someone will come over and get you,” the nurse said with frustration. I walked to the sitting area with fury.

After about 10 or 15 minutes, I asked the security guard if we needed to sign in. The nurse rudely reminded me that she knew we were waiting: “I know you’re here! Why don’t you go sit down?” Finally, 45 minutes after arriving, another nurse took Lucas’ vital signs. He still wasn’t very responsive; however, his vital signs were stable. We were asked to go back and wait.

We were reluctant to wait to be seen by a doctor. We did not want to take any more of this mistreatment. Because Lucas had his 4-month checkup the next day, we decided to leave. Our embittered attitude kept us up for the night to watch over him. If it were necessary to rush him back to the emergency room, it definitely would not be Fallbrook’s ER.

Having served in the Navy as a hospital corpsman, I know firsthand that there are stressful situations in medical care. I also know that patients deserve to be treated with respect. We were not treated with respect.

Fallbrook is a great community and it is sad to know that our family will take our medical needs and emergencies to a hospital outside of Fallbrook where patients are treated like human beings.

Estella Garcia


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