Brain surgery patient sent home from UW Medical Center, left lost and confused

02/07/2011 // Greensboro, NC, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Seattle, WA– The University of Washington Medical Center is under fire after sending a confused and disoriented brain surgery patient home in a taxi, which caused him to end up in an unfamiliar neighborhood in only a hospital gown and socks, as it was raining and cold outside, as reported by KOMO News.

The family of James Absten Sr. wants an explanation of what went wrong. Luckily, strangers in Puyallup came to the aid of the man and helped him get home.

Officials at the Medical Center say they try to arrange private rides to get patients home, but sometimes taxis are used.

Asbten was transported to the hospital for specialized test via a specialized van, or “cabulance,” which is used to transport people with medical conditions.

Absten was discharged from UW Medical Center after his checkup on Thursday, February 2, 2011, when a taxi was called to take him home. He is currently still healing form his fourth brain surgery.

Apparently Asbten checked out OK and was sent home. But, he couldn’t clearly remember his address when he stepped into the cab. No one at the hospital double-checked the address given by Absten and he was taken to an unfamiliar neighborhood.

Some kind neighbors heard Asbten’s calls for help as he was standing in the neighborhood in just a hospital gown and socks, with his surgery stables and bandages still on his head from the operation. The weather was cold and rainy at the time.

The good Samaritans made some phone calls and were able to get Absten home safely.

A spokesperson at UW Medical Center said that the policy is to send patients back to their point of origin. But, the hospital admits that didn’t happen in this instance.

Absten’s family says the hospital was quick to apologize, but they still filed a complaint with state regulators.

The hospital is conducting an internal investigation into what went wrong.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley– Legal news for Washington personal injury lawyers.

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