In lieu of a TMR post today, please read this very important article published by Age of Autism and please take action.
Email Ann Dillon in Media Relations with the link to this post. Tweet them our link @LoyolaHealth. Share our link on their Loyola Health FB page.
Vice President and CNE, Paula Hindel 708-216-3802
CEO Larry M Goldberg 708-216-3215
By Lisa Goes
Patient Safety Awareness Week, Spotlighting Loyola University Medical Center: A Parent’s Perspective
“I need to tell you Alex’s story.” Dorothy Spourdalakis, Alex’s mom spoke professionally with a deliberateness I was not expecting—considering she has been by Alex’s bedside awaiting proper medical care for his gastrointestinal symptoms, for 19 days.
19 days. 456 hours. 27,360 minutes. 1,641,600 seconds.
This is Alex.
The irony of this week marking The National Patient Safety Foundation’s “Patient Safety Awareness Week” is not lost on Dorothy. According to her, at 14 years of age, Alex has a diagnosis of severe autism and cognitive impairment. He is non-verbal. In October of 2012, Alex began to suffer neurological events that prevented a healthy sleep cycle. He was awake for many hours at a time. Agitation and aggression ensued as a result of sleep deprivation. During this time, symptoms and behaviors that were indicative of severe gastrointestinal distress developed as well. A cycle of constipation, diarrhea and formed bowel movements surfaced and became a chronic problem. On February 16th at 5:00 am, with the assistance of police and paramedics, Dorothy took her inconsolable and highly-distressed non-verbal child to Gottlieb Hospital in Melrose Park, Illinois.
Because of Alex’s physical aggression, he was placed in locked restraints. At that time, Dorothy did not know the ER would be their home for the next several days, as Alex lay naked, in locked restraints, suffering bouts of violent vomiting, severe constipation and diarrhea. Neither she nor Alex bathed for the next 13 days while hospital staff and administrators attempted to devise a plan to care for Alex. “He was given Colace for his constipation and sometimes it would take security staff and nurses more than 15 minutes to arrive to help unshackle him so he could use the bathroom,” Dorothy explained. “Alex would scream as best he could when he knew he was going to have a vomiting episode, but security took several minutes to respond so Alex would lay in his own vomit, waiting to be released by a representative of security. He would be wiped down and returned to the same restraints.”
You can find the rest of the article here or by copying and pasting this link into your browser: http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/03/day-19-loyola-chicago-hospital-locks-down-autistic-patient.html