I was transferred into the hospital for emergency surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, but it was not done until two days later. When I finally had surgery, I developed a life-threatening infection. I was put in a bed on a burn unit, where the nurses made a point of letting me know that I was a burden because I was not a burn patient. After nearly killing me, I was sent home because I was at the end of the period for which insurance would pay.
As I was being transported home, I received a phone message stating that I had a spot on my kidney. It would prove to one of several symptoms that I had, several of which were life threatening, which were not disclosed to me while I was in the hospital. I was unable to get a follow-up appointment with a PCP until I stated that I would make a JCAHO complaint. The new PCP stated that I could have died, and he asked why I was back at work. I had been given a letter stating that I could return to work.
I finally got a call from the head of the Gold Team, Dr. Sava, only after I did file the JCAHO complaint. He acknowledged that the team has confirmed that there is a disparity in the healthcare that African-Americans receive; however, he stated that was not applicable in my case. The Risk Manager for the hospital also stated that an investigation had been done, and the care that I received was not substandard.
If you are an African-American patient, be advised that this is the manner in which Medstar Washington Hospital Center will treat you.