From Carol Headley Knapp
To The Directors, Officers, and Administrators of Wetzel County Hospital
I am thoroughly disgusted and disappointed with the deplorable condition Wetzel County Hospital has become.
My daughter, who is known diabetic and who has been treated in Wetzel County Hospital Emergency Room previously, and has had competent thorough care and treatment there, was seen in that ER on Saturday, May 2, 2015 due to symptoms of flu, dehydration, and hyperglycemia. Dr. Gullett, the ER doctor, said “she just has this flu that’s going around and there isn’t any treatment, only fluids and rest,” and discharged her home, even though her husband said “she is diabetic, aren’t you going to do any blood work or give her IV fluids for her dehydration?” Dr. Gullett replied “no she doesn’t need anything else. I had that flu for 3 days and worked with it one of those days so that’s all she needs.” (This is at least negligent medical practice.)
They went home and she became worse and after about 4 hours her husband took her to Sistersville General Hospital ER where they immediately went to work starting IV fluids, drawing blood work, chest x-ray and found her blood sugar to be 900. They worked to stabilize her and transferred her by ambulance with a paramedic or RN to intensive care at Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg. She was in a diabetic coma with high level of ketones in her blood, also high cardiac enzymes, and fluid on her lungs.
She remained in a coma until she became semi-comatose on Sunday, May 3, after which she was moved to a step-down room. Her O2 level would not come to normal level even with O2 at 2 LM. A cardiac cath was done on Monday, May 4 due to high cardiac enzymes, and by Tuesday she had developed pneumonia. She was not discharged from CCMC until Thursday evening May 7.
With good medical care when she first came to the WCH ER I don’t think she would have become this bad.
I am a Registered Nurse who worked 40 years at WCH with much of that time in the ER.
After the current WCH opened in May, 1979, everyone worked diligently to provide “top the line” care for patients in this 4 county area and change our image from what some called “a band aid station.”
We had well trained emergency squads with trained and qualified paramedics, EMTs, aides, and drivers who kept their qualifications up-to-date and provides pre-hospital care surpassed by none.
Our ER was a certified trauma center and was capable of treating cardiac patients, surgical patients, diabetic emergencies, plus all the various injuries and emergencies from the plants and other local industries and businesses. This was due to the fact that our doctors were licensed not only in Emergency Medicine but also in surgery, cardiology, pediatrics, etc.
The nursing staff of the whole hospital had licensed nurses qualified and certified in various fields of nursing to give one on one care for the patient and family.
When an ER patient needed admitted we had capable and competent family doctors on staff to care for patients, for babies with croup to post-op patients or various medical conditions.
We had a well-staffed OR with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and anethetist and specialized OR nurses. This staff could, with up-to-date equipment, perform surgeries from appendectomies to major gun-shot wounds.
A heart attack patient in our CCU, with its competent nursing staff, received the care they needed for recovery.
For the convenience of the patient’s family it was great that women could have their babies in our local hospital with good care by family doctors and very good OB nursing staff and pediatricians.
Also all our ancillary departments, such as lab, radiology, and physical therapy, cardiac rehab, EKG, respiratory, and well trained courteous clerks and secretaries provided excellent care. Our hospital could not have excelled in patient care without the trained and certified employees in our medical records, maintenance, housekeeping, dietary, etc. It takes many dedicated hardworking employees to staff a good hospital. All these qualifications helped minimized the transfers of patients to other hospitals.
I greatly respect and admire those loyal dedicated employees in every department who are striving against all odds to make WCH a good friendly hospital. But it also must have quality leaders and directors and officials to be a facility of excellence for which we should strive.
I would like to recommend that the officials of WCH strive to return to our hospital, ER, and all departments to the highly regarded and respected facility it has been in the past.
Carol Headley Knapp