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Deficiencies by Hospital Cited in Warhol’s Care

Associated Press

The state Health Department cited New York Hospital on Friday for what it called numerous and serious deficiencies in the care of pop artist Andy Warhol, who died a day after gallbladder surgery.

Although Warhol was not named, the 10-page statement of deficiencies refers to a patient who died after gallbladder surgery at the date and time of Warhol’s death on Feb. 22.

Health Department sources confirmed that Warhol was the patient.

Called ‘Serious’

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Wayne Osten, a Health Department spokesman, said there were “a lot” of deficiencies in care and documentation of the patient. “We view that as serious,” he said.

The deficiencies did not include problems with the surgical procedure, Osten said. The surgeon’s name was not available.

Osten declined to say whether the deficiencies could have killed Warhol, but he noted that the artist may have been given too much fluid, which would have put stress on his organs.

Osten noted that the medical examiner has not completed his report on the cause of death.

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Deficiencies Cited

Among deficiencies for which the admitting physician and attending doctors were cited:

--Lack of a complete medical history and physical examination upon admission.

--Conflicting medical charts on whether Warhol was allergic to penicillin.

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--Failure of the director of nursing services to properly evaluate the qualifications of Warhol’s private-duty nurse, who had prepared incomplete charts on another patient a month earlier.

--Gaps in the record of vital signs--including temperature and pulse--although the surgeon ordered them taken every four hours.

The hospital declined to respond to any of the specific allegations, but spokeswoman Myrna Manners read a statement saying the hospital had cooperated fully with investigators and had given them results of its own evaluation.

The hospital was given an April 23 deadline for either refuting the charges or for outlining actions to eliminate such deficiencies.

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