Monday, July 03, 2017

AP Investigation: Key Findings About The 'Pope's Hospital'

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MONDAY, JULY 03, 2017




One of the entrances of the Vatican's Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital. Sharply divergent conclusions about conditions at the facility underscore the controversies and problems that have afflicted Italy’s premier children’s hospital, regarded as such a center of excellence and prestige that it draws top-notch surgeons to work and celebrities to visit.




Here are key findings from The Associated Press investigation into the Vatican's showcase children's hospital, Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) Pediatric Hospital. The hospital denied the findings, threatened legal action against the AP and pointed to a 2015 report clearing it.

1. A Vatican-authorized task force of hospital doctors, nurses and administrators reported a series of problems affecting patient care in April 2014, concluding after a three-month investigation that the hospital's mission had changed and was "today more aimed at profit than on caring for children."

2. An AP investigation corroborated many of the 2014 complaints, including overcrowding and lax hygiene standards that contributed to deadly infection. An extremely drug-resistant superbug wore on for nearly two years and killed eight children in the cancer ward.

3. Doctors were so pressured to maximize operating-room turnover that patients were sometimes brought out of anesthesia too quickly. A 14-year-old girl undergoing an appendectomy was woken up too soon, "against all ethics and morals of our hospital," an internal hospital report said.

4. An epidemiologist who reviewed the charts of 11 deceased cancer patients said he was struck by the "extreme number of medical interventions," including kidney dialysis, performed on children who were nearly dead.

5. In its November 2014 monthly magazine, the union noted that the neonatal surgery ward had "sadly become famous" internally for its rates of infection and death. The route staff walked from the changing room to the ward was "equivalent to an open sewer."

6. In 2015, the Vatican sent an American health care expert, Sister Carol Keehan, to investigate the task force's allegations. After Keehan's team spent three days at the hospital, she said the employees' key concerns were "disproved."
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