A senior staffer with knowledge of the Intensive Care Unit and Trauma Center at the Prince George’s Hospital Center claimed severe understaffing is endangering patients’ lives while hospital operator Dimensions Healthcare has done little to solve the problem.
“Signs and symptoms can be missed and if those are not corrected in time those patients’ level can go down and those patients can die on us,” the whistleblower said.
The staffer is making the claims as the hospital is suffering through the second evacuation of its neo-natal intensive care unit since August due to contamination by the potentially deadly pseudomonas bacteria.
But the whistleblower said problems extend far beyond the unit for critically sick infants in the hospital’s main intensive care unit and Trauma Center.
The staffer said there should be one nurse assigned to care for no more than two critically ill or injured patients. However, nurses are often charged with three patients at a time, while the supervising nurse frequently is forced to split administrative and management duties with patient care.
“I love this job. I love what I do. But it’s getting to be where it’s impacting my safety and the patients’ safety and something has got to be done about it,” the whistleblower said. “We cannot afford to keep covering this problem over and over again. Something needs to be done about it now.”
A spokesman for Dimensions Healthcare did not have an immediate response to the whistleblower’s claims.