I was hoping for feedback on the letter I intend to hand deliver to the Medical Director. Thanks Paula for putting this together!January 17, 2011
Inova Loudoun Hospital
44045 Riverside Parkway
Leesburg, VA 20176
Attn: Dr. Edward Puccio
Medical Director, Emergency Services
Dear Dr. Puccio,
On January 14, 2011, I had to bring my son, Ryan, to the ER Department of Inova Loudoun Hospital. Due to a violent assault fourteen months ago, Ryan has been in a coma, and requires our care 24/7. I have chosen to stay at home with my son in order to provide him with the best care possible.
On January 14th, during a session of exercising and stretching his limbs to help ameliorate stiffness, his arm broke. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was shocked and heartbroken this happened. I immediately contacted Ryan’s personal physician, Dr. Rodriquez, who instructed me to call 911 and have Ryan transported to the ER for X rays and treatment. Ryan had a clean break and a fracture in his arm. Dr. Dennis Bernier recommended that Ryan’s arm be given a splint rather than resetting it. I asked for a consult with the resident Orthopedic doctor, and Dr. Bernier left the room. I assumed he was going to locate this doctor for a consultation. In the meantime, I contacted Dr. Rodriguez, and asked him for a referral to an Orthopedic doctor. This doctor recommended that Ryan’s bone should be reset.
After waiting for an hour, I requested that the nurse find the doctor so that he can treat Ryan’s arm. The doctor finally returned, only to tell me he is still trying to locate the resident Orthopedic Doctor. It is now three hours since Ryan and I have been waiting in the emergency department. Ryan was in pain and had still not been treated. He was not even given ice for his arm.
The next thing that occurred was beyond what I could ever anticipate. Someone from Adult Protective Services walked in to look at Ryan. I then realized this was why we have been sitting here for hours with my son in pain and myself sick with worry. Rather than taking the time to find out more about Ryan, and what our family has gone through for the last fourteen months, the doctor chose to automatically make a negative assessment about me as a father, and as a caregiver to my son. He did not take the time to find out about the daily care I give to my son, the commitment our family has to help him recover at home, and our love for him. The arrogance, insensitivity and poor judgment the doctor displayed in this particular situation is unacceptable. He obviously did not care to learn details about Ryan’s history, but chose instead to make a personal judgment based on his own seriously limited knowledge about my son.
This brings me to my request to you. I would like the opportunity to meet with you and the Emergency Department staff, so that I can provide you with information about Ryan’s condition and treatment. In so doing, I am hoping that future misunderstandings can be prevented. I want to know that my son will receive the treatment he needs as quickly as possible, and that the doctors will talk to me first before making unfounded assumptions. My family and I should not have to suffer undue stress due to a doctor’s unwillingness to seek out the facts first.
Up until this point, our family has had very positive experiences with Inova Loudoun hospital, including during my son’s recent stay in the ICU. I was not expecting to receive this kind of negative treatment in the ER, and I am so disappointed.
Please contact me at _____________ so we can arrange a time to meet. Please bear in mind that I must make special arrangements in advance in order to do this.
Meanwhile, I would like to ask that you obtain further information about my son by going to the following links: