Kaweah Delta care (in general) has been good

Yes, my mom’s experience in the Kaweah Delta emergency waiting room was deplorable. But I recognize that if the only thing you, dear reader, had ever heard about Kaweah Delta District Hospital was that post – you might get the idea that Kaweah Delta was (in general) not good. I want to dispel that idea.

Once my mom did get into a hospital room, the care there has been good. Very good, I would say.

Her nurses and physicians and other staff have been attentive, timely, and professional.

Myself, I’ve had two experiences with KDDH in the last five years: both were of high quality.

I didn’t need emergency care in those situations, so I didn’t have to go through the emergency room waiting room process.

One mild snark though, about the emergency room waiting room. One has a lot of time to be observant over the course of sitting in the waiting room for seven hours (my experience, not my mom’s).

They have digital signage (big television sets) mounted on the wall, playing a loop of various public announcements, advertising of new clinics that have started up, a new doctor accepting patients, etc.

There’s a video interview of two of the hospital bigwigs by Stefani Booroojian1. Anyway, the video is captioned, but the transcriber missed a word. The doctor is talking about keeping healthy, and says it is very important to do smoking cessation. The transcriber wrote that it is very important to do smoking sensation. Not the same thing. 😉

Somebody probably ought to have caught that in the first week, so that the original content creator still had the file around and could re-do that little bit of the caption.

  1. Oh my goodness, she’s been with Channel 24 news for 40 years! She still looks great. Good on her. ↩︎

Terrible experience at Kaweah Health hospital

My mom went to Urgent Care, and they put her into an ambulance and sent her to Kaweah Health hospital. My mom spent 25.5 hours in the emergency room waiting room before getting a room / bed.

This is disgraceful.

Mom showed up at KDDH1 at 2024-04-19 1400

The urgent care people had told the ambulance people to give her some saline because of severe dehydration (because of three days of vomiting and diarrhea). That was the last liquid she got until 2024-04-20 1700.

The doctor who saw her during the initial contact said they needed to do a CAT scan to find out what was the source of intense pain in her abdomen. She finally got that CAT scan at 2024-04-20 0540.

My mom was concerned that she would need emergency surgery for gall bladder removal because her mom had had to go through that. I should probably mention that my mom is 86 years old, and although her mind is clear with no signs of dementia, her body is getting frail, and in the dehydrated state, she is pretty wobbly. The idea of being 86 years old and having to go under the knife scares her.

The night shift doctor finally did get to interview her at 2024-04-20 0715; the CAT scan revealed that it was an inflamed colon – not gall bladder. Thank goodness. Apparently, an antibiotic my mom took a month ago also affected her biome in her colon, and something in there took hold and created an infection.

The doctor was a nice young man, but he did mention that he was at the end of his shift. He said they would admit her, but there weren’t any rooms available: it might be a couple of hours. My mom then sat in the emergency room waiting room for another seven hours. Eventually, my mom got worried that they had lost track of her (she was on the third shift of administrative and nursing staff in the waiting room), so she hobbled up to the front, and when the nurse asked her what was wrong, she burst into tears. She’d been there more than 24 hours, and she was afraid they’d lost track of her. That was shortly after 3:15 PM. The nurse did promptly get her a room.

When I visited her a little before 1700 (5 PM), she still hadn’t slept since the morning of the day before, but finally a nurse did cover her feet with a blanket. My mom has poor blood circulation, so her feet felt cold, and it stressed her out so she couldn’t sleep. The other problem is that the diarrhea continues, so every few hours she needs to get help to climb out of bed to get to the toilet.

I had shown up a little before midnight on the 19th, and relieved Frank from sitting with my mom. About 2 AM, it dawned on me that the CAT scan wasn’t going to happen until the morning shift showed up to work. I don’t know why the CAT scan wasn’t done between 2 PM and end-of-shift on the 19th.

I also don’t know why, when the overnight doctor went off shift, that the emergency room staff don’t seem to have a process for hand-off or review of who needs care. When my mom screwed up enough courage to ask the nurse at 3:15 PM, they immediately found her a room. The room was available. Why isn’t there a process for informing the emergency room when rooms become available? Instead, little old ladies have to tell the nurse that there’s a problem, and then they act. That’s the opposite of the way I would expect medical care to work.

I know that doctors hate it when their patients try to self-diagnose and then direct the doctor on how to provide care. Yet, here was a situation where a little old lady had to force the situation, twenty-five and a half hours after being delivered in an ambulance.

It’s just terrible.

  1. KDDH was the original name: Kaweah Delta District Hospital. Everyone around here still calls it that. They even had that coveted four character domain name: kddh.org – I will rant about the idiocy of changing the company name later ↩︎