Archive for Wednesday, September 23, 2009

D.A.’s letter to LMH enumerates times that rape victims have been turned away

September 23, 2009


In a letter written to Gene Meyer, president and CEO of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson outlined numerous occasions in which sexual assault victims have been sent to other hospitals:

• On Sunday, a Kansas University student who had been raped in her dorm Sunday night was sent to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka to have a rape examination, after being stabilized at LMH for the injuries she received in her attack.

• A Haskell Indian Nations University student was denied an exam — and later taken by a family member to the same Topeka hospital — after LMH representatives treated her for several hours.

• On Aug. 22, a 13-year-old girl complained that she has been digitally raped. Branson said that because the child wasn’t older than 14, the hospital couldn’t help her. The child was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where her injuries were examined but a rape kit wasn’t completed.

Victims on May 19, 2009, and Aug. 17, 2008, and July 5 were told to go to Stormont-Vail in Topeka.

In at least a dozen other cases involving children who were sexually assaulted, Branson said law enforcement investigators referred the victims to other hospitals, because they thought LMH would refuse assistance.


KSGraphicsguy 8 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Ricci Moyer 8 years, 9 months ago

KSGraphicsguy you are such a STUPID person. you really need to try to THINK before you respond to anything. I feel so sorry for all the women involved and my heart goes out to them.

cutny 8 years, 9 months ago

KSGraphicsguy--If you're not trying to make light of it then don't. Your "joke" isn't nearly as funny as you think it is genius.

LMH: Turning away young women who have been emotionally and physically violated is nothing less than shameful.

appleaday 8 years, 9 months ago

Any hospital emergency room should be able to conduct basic rape exams. Rape kits which have all the stuff you need to collect evidence, specially trained and compassionate staff; that's about it. Some cases involving children are a little more difficult and most children who are traumatized in that way require sedation to be examined so it's possible that some of those need to be done at a children's hospital. Shame on LMH.

skinny 8 years, 9 months ago

I can't beleive this crap. LHM needs to get with the program!!

I will not go to LMH ever again. It's only a 25 minute drive to either Kansas City or Topeka anyway.

remember_username 8 years, 9 months ago

This is not the full picture see "stories like this for more info" (thanks LJW). This letter / report appears to be somebody playing politics (DA Charles Branson?). If LMH does not have the trained personnel couldn't some defense atty. raise issues with chain of custody? If that is a risk isn't it better for the prosecutor to have the evidence collected elsewhere, by trained medical staff?

It's horrible that any victim is turned away as it implies a rejection by their own community. I suspect local law enforcement wants LMH to employ more trained personnel so victims can be treated locally. From the above article you aren't aware that a meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow afternoon with LMH to address this issue. The indignation raised by this article should help in that meeting, right LJW / DA Branson? Boy, are we manipulated...

In the other article it is said "Branson questions why other nurses in the hospital aren’t performing sexual assault exams — if a sexual assault nurse is not available — rather than sending the patient elsewhere for help."

I officially ask DA Branson - "Sir, would any case be compromised if a nurse, untrained to collect forensic evidence, compromise a criminal case?" Or maybe I've seen to many CSI shows.

remember_username 8 years, 9 months ago

Correction of last paragraph - should read "“Sir, would any case be compromised if a nurse, untrained to collect forensic evidence, collected the evidence?”

No, I wasn't padding for the millionth post.

Godot 8 years, 9 months ago

Our destination hospital cannot be bothered with such distasteful cases. There are bigger fish to fry.

simplykristib 8 years, 9 months ago

That is pretty pathetic that LMH is turning away rape victims. Something needs to be done immediately to rectify this!

alchemist 8 years, 9 months ago

This is definitely pathetic. A community with hospital, and 2 universities does not have the ability to collect a rape kit? Who the heck are they employing at LMH? I know when I went there for an emergency, I didn't feel all that confident with the care I received, but felt it was the best option when compared to I am not so sure.

Confrontation 8 years, 9 months ago

LHM is the most worthless hospital in the state. I know small-town Kansas hospitals who provide much better care. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

notwhatyourthink 8 years, 9 months ago

Here are some facts that LJW should investigate.

LMH has two instruments to perform the rape kits which are very expensive but they won't train anyone to use them.

There is a nurse at Stromont Vail who is certified on them and she does all the ones at LMH so why do they get sent to Stormont? You figure it out.

LMH could have their own nurses trained to do it . Why don't they?

I wouldn't take my dog to LMH.

As for this being politcial Charles knows exactly where the kits are done because by Federal law his office has to pay for them which he does.

crazyredneckmomma4 8 years, 9 months ago

This isn't LMH's only fault. Its sad when people in the community would rather go to a hospital out of the area because of our local hospital's reputation.

GmaD321 8 years, 9 months ago

LMH will not treat anyone beyond stabilizing for transfer if they do not have health insurance or other means to pay. Period. I would hate to think that this comes into play in a sexual assault case but it is a definite possibility.

justme2 8 years, 9 months ago

Why was a Haskell student denied a rape exam? Does this happen often?

Ernest Barteldes 8 years, 9 months ago

I think this should hit the national news. Allowing this to continue is a shame and a sham.

kusp8 8 years, 9 months ago

Can somebody explain to me what digital rape is?

ifuonlyknew 8 years, 9 months ago

yea because LMH is such a BS hospital...all they want is your money.

Ernest Barteldes 8 years, 9 months ago

And you STILL want health care in private hands?

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 9 months ago

Why was the native american student denied treatment? But for that matter, why were any turned away. I don't like this! Makes me anger that our local hospital would turn anyone away, especially victims of crime. I will reserve judgment until more information comes out.

ferrislives 8 years, 9 months ago

I have too had several bad experiences at LMH as a patient, but they're always on top of their billing. Just a glorified clinic. And I know that most of the staff is doing the best that they can, but all of these issues are the fault of the LMH administrators.

I'm choosing to BOYCOTT LMH. It's not like they offer much anyway, and Topeka and KC hospitals aren't that far away. By the time you'd get seen by someone at LMH, you could have driven to Topeka/KC, gotten seen and treated, and be on your way home.

Who will join me in a boycott of their services until they straighten their act up???

LA_Ex 8 years, 9 months ago

ferrislives: Who will join me in a boycott of their services until they straighten their act up???

Good luck with that. It's kind of like people who complain about cops. They will complain all day until they actually need one.

I've been to a hospital twice in my life. Maybe that's because I try to eat right, exercise and actually see a doctor for routine stuff instead of using the ER as a clinic.

Everybody complains about the wait in EMERGENCY Departments across the country. Maybe if people went to the doctor or the clinic at Walgreen's instead of the ER for their runny noses, it wouldn't be so overwhelmed. I would love to see the ratio of people that really need to be in the ER vs. the one's that could have gone to a clinic or their doctor for any given day.

LA_Ex 8 years, 9 months ago

The word Emergency was originally in all caps to emphasize that word. I guess all caps is a no-no on here.

ferrislives 8 years, 9 months ago

LA_Ex says: "Good luck with that. It's kind of like people who complain about cops. They will complain all day until they actually need one."

I have family in law enforcement, and I grew up in a military family, so your comparison is full of crap. LMH deserves all of this criticism, because everyone sees a lot of new marketing and buildings, when services like a trauma unit doesn't exist here. Why should anyone waste their time with LMH when they'll likely get sent to another hospital anyway?

And the whole "that's what your doctor is for" argument is stupid as well. ER's are meant for emergencies, and that's why doctors send their patients there. But it ends up being a complete waste of time in too many circumstances; from falling down and hitting your head, to being raped and waiting forever only to be told to go somewhere else. That's simply unacceptable, and LMH should be ashamed!

LA_Ex 8 years, 9 months ago

Doctors don't send their patients to the Emergency Room that often, and large portion of the patients in the Emergency Room aren't having an "emergency". A doctor usually sends a patient to a hospital for tests or procedures. If a doctor does send a patient to an emergency room, I'm betting it's usually by ambulance. I don't think any ER doc is going to argue that a large portion of their workload should have been handled with the patient either going to or getting a primary doctor. It's an Emergency Room, not a walk in glorified clinic.

As for your "family of cops and military" statement, so what, I do too. Therefore I think my comment is accurate. Ask anyone having a true emergency I bet you they will say take me to the closest hospital. I know I would, but my definition of emergency might be different from yours.

LMH doesn't deserve all this criticism because we don't have all the facts. We haven't heard from LMH and we don't have real numbers. You can jump to conclusions all you want, but LJW seems to have jumped the gun on this article having not contacted LMH before going to print. This is pure one sided reporting. Just read the articles.

ferrislives 8 years, 9 months ago

LA_Ex: I've heard the whole "people who complain about cops until they actually need one.", and I agree with your statement. My point is that this story has nothing to do with your statement! It makes absolutely no sense. These are rape victims LA_Ex, not people who go to the ER for a headache. Did you even read the story?

I think everyone agrees that ER's are used way too much by folks without insurance and those who should be able to visit their doctor for those services, but you are comaparing apples to oranges, and you should find another story on ER's and health insurance to spout those views. There have been plenty of stories on health care in America lately, so use those forums instead.

If you have the gall to go up to one of these rape victims, and tell them that "sorry you had to wait for several hours and go to another hospital, it's Jenny's fault for coming here with a headache", then go right on ahead. I don't think you'll be looked at too kindly by those victims and their families. But that's my two cents.

LA_Ex 8 years, 9 months ago

Good point Smitty, a recording for when he is out of the office. I was referring to a patient actually in the doctor’s office, being treated.

Not sure what expertise you are referring too.

ferrislives: It is related to this story. Those people that use the ER as a clinic are contributing to the ER being taxed to their limits. As for the comparison, "everyone complains about the cops until they actually need one" is also like saying "everyone complains about the ER until they actually need it."

LA_Ex 8 years, 9 months ago

Smitty, I forgot to say the keyword in your statement regarding the recording is "emergency" case of emergency. I'm sure it's also on there for liabilty reasons for those lawsuit happy people.

canadagal 8 years, 8 months ago

My question is why are they sending them to Topeka? There are facilities in Johnson County who offer 24 hour coverage to care for patients of sexual assault, there are 3 of them just off the top of my head. All the nurses are specially trainined, some even certified examiners. What is so great about Topeka, is it closer then Johnson County?

The other thing is how can you just pick and choose which patients you are going to treat and in this case street and send somewhere does this protect the crime scene? The girl is the crime scene, what if this was a girl that was assaulted by the person they haven't caught yet? Pretty scarry!

Especially when there are other places that can provide compassionate forensic exams, maybe there needs to be some agreements on where these assault victims can be taken to steer away from LMH? Just a thought.......

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