Hawaii Medical Center Apologizes, Promises Changes Following Death of 32-year old Man
Antonio Marrero visited the ER at Waianae Coast Comprehensive Medical Center complaining of a sore throat. The physician diagnosed an abscess and made an appointment for Mr. Marrero with an ENT, however, the physician explored the condition further and without proper support, provided too much sedative and could not place an airway, and Mr. Marrero died. He left behind his wife, Rachel, and three young sons.
In a settlement with the family, the hospital’s leadership apologized and hugged Rachel Marrero at a press conference with her attorney present, and provided a letter to the media outlining the safety changes that are being made to their ER and organization. The family received a $4.2 million structured settlement that will make monthly payments to Mrs. Marrero and her children for the rest of their lives.
At the press conference, Mrs. Marrero says she does not hate or judge, and wants the medical center to improve so future patients are not harmed. The physician was NOT fired and is still working at the center. See this news article and this news article for more details.
A very tragic story, but many positives on the back end. There was an apology and the center’s leaders appeared at a press conference with the widow. They hugged Mrs. Marrero. There was also a letter detailing the changes that are being made to improve safety at the center. This appears to be a group of human beings acting….human. These folks appear to be genuinely trying to bring good out of bad. The physician was not fired and is hopefully receiving proper second victim support from colleagues and friends. There was no gag order….no take your money but we won’t admit fault…none of that.
Now, not every case you will encounter is going to require a full blown press conference, but if your organization made a mistake there should be a real apology, a meeting with the patient/family, hug and cry with them if it feels right, a fair settlement, and show the patient/family what changes have been made so the mistakes will not be repeated. It’s how we would all want to be treated if something bad happened to us.