Los Angeles County DHS Diverts Ambulances From King/Drew Medical Center for 60 Hours
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services officials on Friday declared an "internal disaster" for the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center emergency department and diverted ambulances from the hospital for more than 60 hours over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times reports. County DHS spokesperson John Wallace said that department officials made the decision to divert ambulances from King/Drew in "an effort to decompress the hospital" after large numbers of ED nurses called in sick or did not arrive for their weekend shifts.
County DHS officials also had concerns about whether King/Drew could provide orthopedic services to ED patients; the outpatient orthopedic surgery clinic at the hospital could not open for at least three hours on Friday because no surgeons, surgical residents or physician assistants arrived for work, Wallace said. He added, "It's being investigated and there will be disciplinary actions taken."
In addition, inspectors from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations on Friday arrived at King/Drew for an unannounced two-day review focused in part on problems in the psychiatric department (Weber/Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 8/17).