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LA hospital loses ability to train surgeons
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An accreditation council has ruled Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center must stop training surgeons, a step officials say could cause the hospital's trauma center to shut down.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education ordered the hospital's program to close as of June 30 because trainees were not provided enough surgical experience, research was inadequate and the curriculum did not follow recommended guidelines.
As a result of the decision, at least 30 surgery residents -- recent medical school graduates who undergo on-the-job training -- said they will be forced to find other hospitals where they can continue.
To keep its trauma center functioning, the hospital also would have to hire more senior surgeons, who typically earn two to three times as much as residents.
"It's a major blow, without question," said Dr. Jeffrey H. Peters, surgery program director at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. "It would be a rare trauma program that functions without a residency."
The impact on the largely poor and minority community that King/Drew serves could be devastating, officials said. The hospital currently handles about 25 percent of the county's gunshot and stabbing victims, and other hospitals would have to pick up the slack.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
File date: Saturday, October 11, 2003
Dr. William O'Reardon
Most people are familiar with the incident involving 11-G PM's (Street Gang Unit) Detectives Mike Waters & George Arthur and the 3 members of the BGF prison gang, at the bank on Florence Av, where Mike was shot in the face and George was viciously pistol-whipped on top of his skull. One of the collateral incidents that was associated with that attack was the trafffic collision involving Sgt Al Kopperud's radio car (10-S) and the huge front bumper of a LA County Fire Dept truck on Florence Av, as everyone was rushing to help 11-G. Al had a radio car on each side of his car and had nowhere to go when they saw the truck coming from the other direction.
Unfortunately, Kopperud's chest was crushed on the steering wheel of his car as a result of the impact. I believe that Kopperud was transported by a radio car to St. Francis Hospital.
(Later, after some similar incidents, Dr. O'Reardon told us to stop transporting dep's in radio cars, and to let paramedics stablize them before going to the hospital.)
About the time this was all happening, a friend of Dr. O'Reardon's, another physician who had served in a field medical unit in Viet Nam with O'Reardon, came by St. Francis to visit and have a cup of coffee. When Kopperud arrived at the hospital, O'Reardon ordered that x-rays be taken immediately so he could decide on the best course of treatment. Upon examining the x-rays, O'Reardon saw a slight shadow in the area of Kopperud's aorta. The shadow was so slight that it could have been easily missed, even by experienced physicians.
O'Reardon reminded the visiting Dr. that they had both dealt with a similar injury in Viet Nam, and in that case, with a similar looking x-ray, they found that the soldier's aorta was completely crushed and saved him when they opened him up immediately. Both Dr's ran to the surgical room, shouting for the nurses to bring Kopperud in and opened up his chest as fast as possible and found that Al's aorta was completely crushed and that a small amount of blood was moving thru it only because some of the blood had congealed enough to make a small cavity. Thanks to O'reardon's prior experience, Kopperud's life was saved.
When the BGF suspects arrived at St. Francis, and it was explaned to the Dr. who the gunshot vict's were, he told the staff to move them inside and he would get to them when he could. A very cool dude!
Circa 1967 we responded to a 245 off Central. The victim met us at the door and was bleeding slightly. I lifted his shirt and noted six through and through in the torso. The holes were .45 armor piercing. Apparently no vitals were hit and I had to coax the guy to sit down.
He was sent to that dog and cat hospital on Florence. We followed up at the hospital when my trainee had failed to note all the holes. The hospital had placed band-aids over the holes pending transport to General.
For general info, the guy had been shot by his cousin over a 211 they committed on Central. The rounds went through the vic, the couch, and the wall into the vacant apartment next door.
We arrested the shooter on another charge later when he was found face up on a nearby street beaten half to death. Wonder who did that?
We picked him up later yet for possession.
Another time at the same hospital I made a ride-a-long closely examine a FW/75 who had been raped and beaten so bad you couldn't recognize her. To add to the drama her bowels let go during the assault. I hated ride-a-longs. This one was a USC law student and future defense lawyer.
Went there another time when a guy had been shoot through the hand with a .45 revolver.
Big hole. Argument over a .50 cent pool game. Never use that hand again.
King hospital was not there yet. Can't even imagine the excitement that caused............