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Case of ignored patient investigated

Associated Press / December 12, 2009

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LAS VEGAS - Six University Medical Center employees have been suspended while the county investigates claims that a woman was ignored for so long in the emergency room that she went home and gave birth to a premature baby who later died.

Clark County released a statement yesterday from hospital chief executive Kathy Silver expressing condolences to the 25-year-old woman, Roshunda Abney, and promising a thorough investigation.

“All of our employees are expected to treat patients with dignity, respect, and kindness,’’ Silver said.

“We will uncover what happened that day and will not stand for the mistreatment of our patients or their families.’’

Others who were in the waiting room at the region’s only public hospital have corroborated accounts by Abney and her fiancé, Raffinee Dewberry, that they were ignored for several hours Nov. 30 until they finally left.

Abney gave birth at home to a premature baby girl who died a short time later, authorities said.

In a separate issue, county officials also said in the statement the hospital was sending letters to more than 100 patients treated at the regional trauma center Oct. 31 or Nov. 1, offering free credit monitoring to those whose personal information may have been leaked to outsiders.

Silver has said the hospital was cooperating with an FBI investigation of whether Social Security numbers and other information may have been given to personal injury attorneys. Silver said those allegations hadn’t been proved.