‘No deficiencies’ reported at Adventist Medical Center’s Emergency Department

Find out who investigated outer East Portland’s only hospital after a man died in their parking lot, the results of that survey – and what the family’s attorney has to say about this unfortunate incident …

Adventist Medical Center is the only hospital serving residents in outer East Portland. EastPortlandNews.com file photo

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Just after midnight on February 10, 61-year-old Birgilio Marin-Fuentes drove himself to  the Portland Adventist Medical Center (AMC) Pavilion parking structure – not to the hospital’s emergency department doors – and died of what his surviving family’s attorney told media was the results of an “ischemic attack”.

> To see our comprehensive story covering this incident, “Man dies in Portland Adventist Medical Center parking lot”, CLICK HERE.

A flurry of finger-pointing ensued, and U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer immediately called for an “independent investigation of this matter, to ensure that federal laws are enforced and Oregonians are protected.”

On March 30, Lane Public Relations sent us a press release on behalf of the hospital, headlined: “Portland Adventist Medical Center’s emergency response declared in compliance” – with the sub-headline, “Hospital Provided Appropriate Emergency Care in February Incident; Complied with EMTALA”.

The release said that representatives from the Oregon Department of Health had conducted a four-day survey at the request of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), reviewing AMC’s policies and procedures, interviewing staff, and reviewing Emergency Department medical records and charts.

Signs clearly point the way to the hospital’s emergency department. EastPortlandNews.com file photo

The public relations firm stated that, “The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act” (EMTALA) compliance reinforces AMC’s commitment to providing compassionate, quality care for all its patients”, noting that CMS “found no deficiencies at the hospital”.

Also included in the press release was a quote from U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer, which we verified with his Portland office:

“After questions were raised about the response to the incident on February 10, I asked for an investigation by the appropriate federal agencies,” goes the quote. “I am pleased that CMS has completed its investigation and found that Adventist was in full compliance with federal laws and regulations.  I am also pleased that the senior executive team at Adventist took this event seriously and has worked with hospital staff to reinforce their policies and procedures.”

Thomas Russell, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMC is also quoted:

“The CMS findings reflect the facts that we have known all along: That our caregivers responded immediately to try and save this victim upon report of the accident, despite the unfortunate outcome. We will continue to meet the medical needs of our community in every way possible as we work together with the Portland Police Bureau, Portland Fire Department and Emergency Medical Technicians.”

Had the ailing man made it to the hospital’s emergency department, the outcome might have been quite different. EastPortlandNews.com file photo

In February, Greg Kafoury, of Kafoury and McDougal, the attorney representing Marin-Fuentes’s family, talked with media, and said the victim suffered from an ischemic attack. “This is when the heart starts to flutter. What you need in that situation is an electric shock to get your heart back in rhythm.”

Speaking with East Portland News this week, Kafoury said he was still representing the family, and that “Looking at the [security camera] tape they supplied, it took them six minutes to get anyone on scene.” Beyond that, he had no further comment.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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