This Never Used to Happen on "ER"

Saturday, February 26, 2005

This Never Used to Happen on "ER"

ABC News reports:
A woman who had suffered a massive heart attack died after hospital personnel moved her out of a trauma room to accommodate a flu-stricken Michael Jackson, the patient's family said.

... the pop star was taken to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, Calif. (Feb. 15), complaining of flu-like symptoms. Manuela Gomez Ruiz, a 74-year-old grandmother, was moved from the primary trauma room and taken off the machine ventilator, with her breathing instead assisted manually by hand pump, until she was relocated to a smaller room nearby, her family told ABC News.

The larger room was kept for Jackson, the family says. Hospital records show Jackson, 46, told emergency room staff he had severe abdominal pain. His body temperature, 96.9 degrees, was below normal and he had tears in his eyes. The initial emergency room report said he could go home anytime.

There was no doubt Jackson was sick — as a doctor assured the judge presiding over his trial — but how sick? Ruiz's daughter-in-law says she watched as Jackson entered the emergency room. "He walked in," Anna Ruiz said. "When I saw him, he was walking unassisted."

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