The Troubles at King/Drew

The Troubles at King/Drew

The following were submitted for Pulitzer Prize consideration in the Public Service category.

Deadly errors and politics betray a hospital's promise

December 5, 2004

Part 1

Deadly errors and politics betray a hospital's promise

On a warm July afternoon, an impish second-grader named Dunia Tasejo was running home after buying ice cream on her South Los Angeles street when a car sideswiped her. Knocked to the pavement, she screamed for help, blood pouring from her mouth.

Underfunding is a myth, but the squandering is real

December 6, 2004

Part 2

Underfunding is a myth, but the squandering is real

For years it has been a heartfelt cry: "This hospital desperately needs more money!"

How Whole Departments Fail A Hospital’s Patients

December 8, 2004

Part 4

How Whole Departments Fail A Hospital’s Patients

Brenda Nelson hurried though the doors of Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in October, toting a container of gumbo soup for her son, Mario. She expected him home soon.

Why supervisors let deadly problems slide

December 9, 2004

Part 5

Why supervisors let deadly problems slide

On the sultry evening of Aug. 11, 1965, a 21-year-old black man named Marquette Frye was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol at 116th Street and Avalon Boulevard for driving drunk.

One doctor's long trail of dangerous mistakes

December 7, 2004

Part 3

One doctor's long trail of dangerous mistakes

Five pathologists slipped into the microscope lab at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, steeling themselves to act after months of deepening suspicion.

December 23, 2004

SOLUTIONS

Massive overhaul of ailing hospital urged

If Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center is to survive, let alone thrive, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors needs to get out of the way.

February 26, 2004

For Days, Potent Drug Given to Wrong King/Drew Patient

William Watson doesn't have cancer. But for at least four days last week, nurses at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center gave the 46-year-old man a potent anti-cancer drug before they realized the medication was intended for another patient.

July 13, 2004

For Days, Potent Drug Given to Wrong King/Drew Patient

Surgeons at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center mistakenly left a metal clamp the length of a ballpoint pen inside a patient two weeks ago -- another in a series of lapses to occur despite the hospital's vows to fix failings in patient care.

December 12, 2004

EDITORIAL

Fulfilling the Wrong Dream

The hospital named for Martin Luther King Jr. was supposed to be a realization of the civil rights hero's dream. From the nightmare of the Watts riots would spring one of the best hospitals in America to serve the poorest neighborhoods of Los Angeles County. Yet as The Times' series published last week made indisputably clear, today that hospital is one of the nation's worst, and the county Board of Supervisors bears full responsibility for the patients who suffered and died there. The supervisors knew just how badly the King/Drew Medical Center was broken but failed for years to do anything about it.

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