The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Readers defend, criticize Clovis hospital


A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked:

“Clovis hospital officials sent a man to the funeral home on Wednesday while he was still alive. A funeral home employee noticed him breathing and called paramedics. Does the incident give you cause for concern about the quality of health care in Clovis?”

Some responses:

“I don’t think it gives me a greater concern for the quality of health care, but it does bother me about the working conditions at the hospital. Are some of the people overworked or just lazy? Not any excuse for sending someone alive to a funeral home.”

— Jeff Greene, Clovis

“I’ve always had a concern about the health care in Clovis. Now even more since it’s been reported that we are 50 doctors short in the area. Not knowing the full story why a man was sent to a funeral home I don’t believe we can yell and scream about poor health care in Clovis. I hope that the New Mexico Medical Board has been notified and they will investigate the incident, along with (local officials).”

— Chuck Hemphill, Clovis

“The doctors in Clovis need to be held accountable for their actions, uncommon or not! I’ll take my business to Lubbock.”

— Michael Williams, Clovis

“Sending a live person to the funeral home does give me cause for alarm, but it has happened in larger hospitals. Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending it in our local hospital. All the staff that I came in contact with were great. Caring nurses are, to me, their best asset. The food needs a lot of work. All hospital board members should partake of this so-called food.”

— John Frey, Clovis

“Why is this about health care? Where were the man’s relatives? Didn’t anyone question what the health-care professionals said? They are only human, and they can make mistakes. Our health care is our responsiblity, so every person should be ready to ask questions and to investigate exactly what they are told. Health-care workers are not God and we need to stop treating them as such. If your mechanic says something about your car that doesn’t sound right, you investigate. You ought to do at least that much with your body.”

— Carolyn Spence, Clovis

“According to the news, the man was declared dead at PRMC Wednesday morning and later the man took a breath at the funeral home. It was also said that while it is unusual, it is not unheard of that a person can revive.

“Personally, I don’t know that this is an alarm to start ripping apart the quality of health care in Clovis. If such news is going to be reported, then how long was the man declared dead before the funeral home was called and how long was the time between the declaration of death to the time the funeral home personnel saw him take a breath?

“I think what needs to be addressed here is the actual facts surrounding the events. Investigate the situation before pointing fingers about shady health care and then let the family grieve their loss. Then and only then — if something arises out of the situation such as a medical mistake — make it a news story. If not, then I think we might have just witnessed another miracle of life.”

— Tanya Hughes, Clovis

“I have been concerned for a long time about the quality of health care in Clovis. I am not sure where the blame lies. Do we not have up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment at the hospital?

“Do we have competent personnel who really care about the people? I know many people who work there who are excellent in their profession. However, it only takes one person who is careless or poorly trained to make a mistake that could affect a patient’s welfare.

“I must say ... many times my family has received excellent service from those employed at the Clovis hospital who are well trained, and who really care about the patients. Is it a hit-or-miss proposition?

“I do know one thing — if people are to be enticed to use the Clovis medical facilities, those facilities must be as efficient and up to date as any facility available to us in the surrounding area. The quality of care and the level of trustworthiness must equal or surpass that of other hospitals. Maybe a study of “how they do it” is in order?”

— Kay Arvizu, Clovis

“I have read of a few cases such as what happened at the hospital. All have been isolated cases and have had no geographical connection. The human body is still making medical science scratch its collective head. The hospital here will no doubt be more alert in the future. I am not going to concern myself further about the quality of care from my doctor.”

— Frank Dalton, Clovis

“People depend heavily on the expertise and professionalism of physicians and other health-care professionals. While errors can happen — physicians are as ‘human’ as everyone else — protocols and tests are available and are designed to ensure this does not happen. The question now needs to be asked, ‘Is this an isolated incident or are the people who are trusted with our care disregarding acceptable practice and standard of care?’ ”

— Bruce Ford, Clovis

“I have no concerns about the quality of health care in Clovis. This is the second time I have heard of an incident like this; the first was a child that was pronounced dead after drowning (at another hospital outside the state). A long time later she was found to be alive. It can happen in places other than Clovis. ... I credit the doctors in Clovis for saving my life and I trust them to do the best they can, which is all we can ask anyone to do.”

— Ardyth Elms, Clovis


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