TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The hospital where a black woman died after she was forcibly removed from the emergency room by a white police officer was cited for 10 “deficiencies,” including failing to properly examine the woman when she complained of difficulty breathing, state health officials said.
Elizabeth Dudek, the secretary for Flo-rida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, said Friday the violations at Calhoun-Liberty Hospital in Blountstown were “egregious.” The hospital must submit correction plans by next Friday and if the problems are not fixed by March 1, it could be suspended from the Medicaid program. The 25-bed facility is also facing fines that could total $100,000.
The review comes after the death of Barbara Dawson, a 57-year-old woman who was treated in the emergency room Dec. 21 but refused to leave when she was discharged because she didn’t think she was OK. She was handcuffed by Blountstown Police Officer John Tadlock and collapsed when he tried to put her in a patrol car. She died about 90 minutes later.
Three hospital staffers were placed on unpaid administrative leave. A nursing supervisor is still on leave, a paramedic who was working in the ER that night resigned and another employee returned to work but has not been put back on patient care.
Hospital CEO Ruth Attaway said they had started to take steps to fix the problems, especially involving the emergency room.
“We fully intend to fix the issues out there. We hope this will not create a further negative attitude about the hospital and are looking to make patient care better,” Attaway said.