Troubles at King-Harbor: Full coverage of hospital in crisis

L.A.'s Public Health Crisis

Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital is set to close down soon after failing a federal inspection. The action comes after a new round of questions about care, including one in which a woman writhed on the floor of the emergency room lobby for 45 minutes before dying of a perforated bowel. No one stepped in to help her. The Willowbrook hospital, once known as King/Drew, has been plagued by allegations of poor treatment almost since its inception 35 years ago. Scroll down for the latest coverage plus The Times' 2004 series on King/Drew.

Anatomy of a hospital in crisis: Check out Times Staff Writer Charles Ornstein's


August 14, 2007

King-Harbor inspection report released

Los Angeles County supervisors put their seal on the closure of Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital on Monday, voting unanimously to shut inpatient services and promising to pay up to $16.3 million to nearby private hospitals and doctors bracing for a deluge of patients.

June 15, 2007

How a hospital death became a cause celebre

It might have gone down as the death of a "quasi-transient" woman with a history of abusing drugs. That's how the May 9 death of Edith Isabel Rodriguez was initially reported to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

September 24, 2006

Hospital Backers Concede Choices Tough

A day after Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center resoundingly failed a "make or break" federal inspection, some of the iconic public hospital's most vocal supporters conceded that it may not be fixable — at least not by the county.

September 23, 2006

King/Drew Fails Final U.S. Test

Federal regulators notified Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center late Friday that it had failed what was billed as a "make or break" inspection and would lose annual funding of about $200 million — more than half the hospital's budget — at the end of the year.

April 13, 2005

EDITORIAL

Pandering at Patients' Expense

On the day he lost the coveted endorsement of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn called a news conference on the groomed grounds of the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center and vowed to save the struggling hospital. What he really set out to rescue was his own reelection campaign. The act was desperate and shameful.

April 13, 2005

County Health Chief Is Rebuked

Los Angeles County supervisors sharply rebuked their health department chief during a rancorous public debate Tuesday and ordered him to physically move his office to Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center.

April 12, 2005

Another Fatal Failure at King/Drew

Another patient hooked up to a cardiac monitor died at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center recently after nurses failed to notice the patient's deteriorating vital signs, Los Angeles County health officials reported in a confidential memo late Monday.

April 11, 2005

EDITORIAL

A Real-World King/Drew

Fixing the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center is turning out to be more difficult and costly than Los Angeles County political leaders had anticipated. To make it possible at all, the Board of Supervisors will have to go beyond its $13-million contract with a company that specializes in turning around troubled hospitals. It is going to have to set a realistic goal.

April 7, 2005

King/Drew Med School Under Fire

Los Angeles County supervisors Wednesday questioned whether Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center should ditch the medical school that trains its doctors — or whether it could remain open at all.

April 6, 2005

3 King/Drew Deaths Blamed on Lapses

Over the course of four days late last month, three more patients died at the beleaguered Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center after what officials believe were critical lapses in care.

January 30, 2004

Report Assails Hospital Lapses

Nurses at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center were ordered to lie about patients' conditions, failed to give crucial medications prescribed by doctors and left seriously ill patients unattended for hours -- including three who died -- according to a new report by federal health officials.

Reaction to King/Drew Plan Loud and Clear

November 16, 2004

CALIFORNIA

Reaction to King/Drew Plan Loud and Clear

In an outpouring that was by turns hostile and heartsick, the community that relies on Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center turned out in force Monday to strenuously oppose plans to close the hospital's prized trauma unit.

November 17, 2004

Waters at Center Stage in King/Drew Drama

A day after she helped marshal more than 1,000 people to protest the proposed closure of Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center's trauma unit, Rep. Maxine Waters on Tuesday sat at the center aisle, second row, of the county Board of Supervisors meeting room, planning her next move.

November 22, 2004

Closure of King/Drew Unit Likely

Despite community protests, an on-air assault by a popular radio host and the near-unanimous opposition of city political leaders, most of the county supervisors said they remain committed to vote, probably Tuesday, in favor of closing the trauma center at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center.

November 24, 2004

THE STATE

King/Drew's Trauma Unit Ordered Shut

Despite impassioned protests, Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to close the trauma center at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, saying the unit had to be sacrificed as part of a larger strategy to save the troubled hospital.

December 3, 2004

CALIFORNIA

Judge Denies Bid to Halt Trauma Unit's Closure

A federal judge on Thursday allowed Los Angeles County to continue with its plan to phase out the trauma center at Martin Luther King, Jr./Drew Medical Center by denying a temporary restraining order sought by a group of doctors and residents.

September 16, 2004

A Reeling King/Drew Receives Huge Blow

A national accrediting group Wednesday recommended pulling its seal of approval from beleaguered Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, an extremely rare step that further threatens the public hospital's survival.

September 25, 2004

King/Drew Trauma Unit a 'Jewel' With Big Flaws

Politicians and others fighting to save the endangered trauma center at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center have called it "a model for the country" and "the crown jewel" of the hospital.

5:04 PM PDT, September 13, 2004

King/Drew to Shut Down Trauma Unit

Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, Los Angeles County's foundering public hospital, will move to shut its prized trauma unit and hire outside turnaround experts in the biggest overhaul in its 32-year history, health officials announced today.

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