Two Patient Deaths Blamed on Low Staffing Levels at Carlisle Regional in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is blaming low staffing levels as the cause of two patient deaths at Carlisle (Pa.) Regional Medical Center, according to the department's report.

The department's report detailed multiples occasions (occurring from June to July) in which the hospital was understaffed, causing admitted patients to wait for hours until they were moved to the intensive care unit or a hospital bed. On one occasion, patients admitted to the hospital emergency department had to wait between one to 16 hours before being taken to a patient room.


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The report cites the hospital's low staffing levels as the cause for two patient deaths in June. According to the report, one patient died while receiving a CT scan. The patient was sent to CT scan without a nurse because other nurses were occupied with a full emergency department. The patient stopped breathing while in CT scan, was brought back to the ED and died.

Another patient was ordered by a cardiologist to be transferred to another hospital for aortic valve replacement. According to the department's report, the patient died while waiting for a bed in Carlisle Regional's emergency department.

The department also cited Carlisle Regional Medical Center for using emergency department beds as regular inpatient beds, among many other deficiencies. The hospital must submit to the state a plan of corrective action. Hospital officials declined to comment on the department's report.

Read the Pennsylvania Department of Health's report on Carlisle Regional Medical Center.

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