Skip to comments.‘Everybody May Not Make It Out’
Posted on 08/25/2007 3:41:44 PM PDT by metmom
Dr. Anna Pou was accused of murdering nine patients in a New Orleans hospital wracked by Katrina, but a grand jury declined to indict her. Now she gives her side of the story.
Aug. 25, 2007 - The tragic deaths at New Orleanss Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina are among the most notorious examples of the vast human suffering that resulted from the destruction of the levees and the flooding of the cityand the governments incompetent response to the disaster. At least 34 people died in the hospital awaiting evacuation and it wasnt long before dark rumors began circulating that some of them were helped along by lethal doses of morphine or other medication. Almost a year after the storm, in July 2006, authorities arrested Dr. Anna Pou, a well-known head and neck surgeon. She was eventually accused of murdering nine patients who were in a long-term acute care unit on the seventh floor run by LifeCare Hospital of New Orleans.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
And Bush’s fault, I’m sure.
The stuff I saw on TV was enough for me to be grateful I was not there to deal with any of it.
To be in the position the medical staff had to face... the system failed them.
In any catastrophic situation there comes a point where civilized people are forced to make unthinkable decisions.
the battle cry of the victim.
In any catastrophic situation there comes a point where civilized people are forced to make unthinkable decisions.
too much tv.
Sounds to me like the docs did the best they could. What a terrible situation for all concerned.
On the other hand, one of the lessons- learned from hurricane Andrew as reported by the CIO of Ryder was that you should let the families of the duty staf shelter at the facility. Otherwise, the staff spends all their time frantic about their loved ones out in the aftermath and cannot adequately perform their job. The key is that you make sure ahead of time to provide for them, not bring everydony in and dial 1-800-SEND-FEMA.
[To be in the position the medical staff had to face... the system failed them.]
There is no ‘system’ to put in place in a situation like NOLA in Katrina. There is no amount of planning that can be applied to all areas apt to be hit. We don’t have the resources to enact such a ‘system’ which can combat the infinity of possible situations.
Technology is such a blessing, but when the electricity goes off, there’s only so much one can do.
The whole Katrina situation was such a fiasco. People were warned to leave and didn’t, patients weren’t transfered beforehand, when they knew it was coming.
It wasn’t just the hospitals, it was nursing homes as well. It would have been far easier to move patients ahead of time. There wasn’t much doubt about it hitting and the worst case scenario could have been expected. Even it they waited and started moving patients later than they would have liked, some would have been saved.
I find it so hard to believe that more rescue helicopters couldn’t have been found and used. We have a whole country of resources to draw on.
Mr. Foti (attorney general) should be horse whipped for this.
mayor Nagin should have intervened
My son spent a week in this hospital two months before Katrina. My wife stayed with him. He was within 3 weeks of having major surgery here when Katrina hit.
The conditions at this hospital after Katrina were, if anything, understated in this interview. I agree it is unconscionable that in the USA patients and staff in a hospital like this could be left so long in these conditions. Hospitals were not high enough on the priority list of those in authority to allocate resources. This is not second guessing, it is a factual statement. I never before have witnessed government incompetence on such a scale.
IMHO, if anyone should have been indicted,it should not have been this poor doctor. I would trust her to be my physician any time.
You got that exactly right.No matter how bad a situation is,there’s always one more thing you can do to try to help.
Yeah. I disagreed with the doc on that. If families had not been there, she would have had even less help. I never understood why this happened. Why could they have not evacuated from the roof? Surely there was one helicopter that could have been assigned to this hospital.
Even then, he let hundreds of buses and other conveyances, that could have been used to evacuate people, sit empty and idle. There was no emergency stores of food or even water at places designated as shelters. (But I suspicion if anyone did a real investigation, there was plenty of money on the books "spent for emergency supplies")
President Bush declared an emergency two days BEFORE the hurricane = unprecedented = but they couldn’t move into the state without the permission of the Governor - Blanco - or then the city, without Nagel’s ok. They refused for days.
That’s why we saw the Coast Guard as the first line of aid for days = because New Orleans was on the coast, the Coast Guard did not require local or state authority.
And yet, Pres. Bush, will go down in history as the culprit, with the mantra of the lying liberal scum.
(I’m sure they were deeply disappointed that Dean never touched the country. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that the presses were all ready to run with Bush-Bash headlines.)
He should have been indited! He should be in jail.
See my post # 15
Why was Nagel not indited?
bulloney. If Katrina had hit a blue state none of this would have happened. What happened was all the fault of the RAT politicians in Louisiana and NO. The people have nobody to blame but themselves for electing them.
What about your governor? Shouldn’t she also be held accountable? We had a close call last week. At one time we were the bulls eye for Dean. We were ready to go at the first turn. The governor requested assistance days before. We had our patients and nursing home residents ready to roll. I’m not saying we have all the answers and everything would have worked perfectly but we took the warnings seriously and prepared for the worst.
And the one guy who used his brains and commandeered a bus and likely saved people’s lives, was going to have charges brought against him for taking the bus without authorization.
There should have been more people with such incentive.
All those people who refused to leave and had to be rescued from the rooftops, were just as guilty because by their selfish inaction, they tied up resources that could ahve been used elsewhere.
IIRC, there was also reports of the helicopters doing rescue work that were being shot at.
If he was, Bush would be off the hook for his crimes against black Americans in N.O.
Moonbats and various race pimps would not be happy at all.
Imagine if Nagin, Mayor of the Chocolate city indicted for crimes against his citizens, while Bush, the architect of the mass crimes (rolling eyes ) against humanity gets off free.
What was accomplished was a miracle! I suggest you read the full article. No one in the press has given enough credit to the heroic response that represented what really happened after Katrina. The true helicopter story is only one part! ,p> Read the entire story - below are just excerpts!
Of the 60,000 people stranded in New Orleans, the US Coast Guard rescued over 33,500. Congress recognized the Coast Guard's response with an official entry in the Congressional Record and the Armed Service was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
The demand for aircraft, particularly helicopters, led to the deployment of aircraft from across the services and the country. Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light (HSL) 43, HSL-47, and HSL-49, and HSC-21 arrived from NAS North Island, Calif., with their MH-60 Seahawks. Three Marine squadrons from MCAS New River, N.C., sent six CH-53E Super Stallions and two CH-46E Sea Knights, and Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 772, a reserve squadron from Willow Grove, Pa., sent four more Super Stallions. The Army's III Corps and two Air Force rescue wings contributed over 30 helos as well. Naval Aviation units also provided key logistical support; Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 57 and VR-58 moved in Seabees and HSL crewmen; evacuated hundreds of citizens; and transported tons of supplies. At the height of operations, the various elements of the Department of Defense had more than 350 helicopters and over 70 fixed wing aircraft involved in Katrina relief efforts.
I agree, to prosecute a doctor for bad outcomes in extreme situations is moronic. Whatever DA did this should be dismissed as soon as possible.
[What happened was all the fault of the RAT politicians in Louisiana and NO. The people have nobody to blame but themselves for electing them.]
I agree in that regard. I am talking to a situation whereby defined preps would have been put in place. Mississippi did well but the storm still caused great devastation. No planning can stop that.
But the real time failures of Nagin and the Gov. were monumental, I agree.
Mayor Nagin should have intervened in a lot of things, not least of all he should have executed the city’s disaster response plan.
Katrina actually hit MS much harder than LA. New Orleans was really only side-swiped. I remember TV early next morning talking about how NO had dodged another bullet and showing video of high-rise hotels with only a few broken windows.
NO was not really hit by a hurricane. It was flooded. The levees broke, with most of the breaks being well below the levels they were supposed to withstand. There was remarkably little wind damage in the city.
The full force of the hurricane’s winds hit the Mississippi coast, not NOLA, and state and local governments in Miss. responded admirably. The flood surge is what devasated NOLA, exacerbated by incompetent bungling and fraudulent prior misallocation of levee building and other funds, plus incompetent and indecisive chief executive officrs at both the state and local levels.
Too much TV, in your case it's TIVO. Set record, watch a year later then throw your accusational bombs........ Others call it arm chair quarterbacking with your advantage of having replay at your hands.
You're right because I don't recall hearing it.
That’s right just give up...
Yet, we heard almost NOTHING about MS. It was all whining about NO. What a disservice to those heroic men and women who prepared and cleaned up for themselves without all the whining and looking for handouts.
They got on with their lives. There’s still NO “victims” (and I use the term loosely) who are still living on govt. handouts.
It makes me sick.
Can you imagine what it would have been like if we had the socialized medical system that the dems want to inflict on us?
If it was this bad in a liberal(dem controlled) city in a Republican country with the best health care in the world, I can’t imagine what it would be like if we had socialized medicine.
The other thing that gets me is the hypocrisy of our system. Pro-euthanasia groups are pushing for the right to die, Terri was killed legally, and here this doctor is being arrested for allegedly doing the very thing the left wants to inflict on us all.
Ummm 0 did you mean this for someone else?
I live in Maine. We don't have a 'she' governor and we certainly weren't ever in Dean's path???
Sorry. It was meant for the LA freepers.
If I remember, they tried and the idiots were shooting at them.
This was the one? Didn’t they have people trying to break in also?
It is too bad that the world does not know of the heroic work of the Coast Guard (and others) which made more than 33,000 rescues, most of them by helicopter. This is a resuce of Herculean proportions.
The outpouring of generosity by people all over this country who opened up their homes to displaced Katrina victims is also unprecedented.
Since the agenda-driven DBM wanted Bush to get a bad name from this more than they might like the world to know what a wonderful country we have, they never highlighted any of this,preferring to show Heraldo and Shep Smith frantic at the dome or Convention center, carefully not showing 360 degrees or TV audiences might have seen things like people moving out on buses and people eating....where did all that food trash come from???
Fox news ran nothing but N'leans stuff all day Sunday before the storm hit....
I remember people coming to the Superdome and were told repeatedly to have their own food, water, etc, for 3 ot 5 days I think.....
its not like people weren't warned....
we have to come to grips in this country about medical/health care....that is, there is NOT enough money or staff nor will there ever be to take care of our loved ones the way we want them to be taken care of....
if you have a loved one in the hosptial or nursing home or adult home, you have to take a very active role in their care....
no more blaming the health care system....
In the hosptial where I work, many if not most of the patients are HUGE people, and it takes more than one to move them, and if they are constantly incontinent, it takes all those people to clean them....we are talking basic care, not ever IV meds, or resp. treatments, or assessments, or charting, or calling the doc or dressing changes....
meanwhile, a little granny is down the hall being IGNORED because the staff is with another pt.....
there just is not enough staff....the health care bill would be triple if the staff to pt ratio was better....
honestly, until we can understand that the human life span does have limits, that we can't keep every diabetic pt with congestive heart failure and COPD alive indefinately, we will be chasing our own tails.....we'll never get there....
I hear med school is so grueling to get through, and yet there’s such a shortage of doctors. I can’t see that making it so hard to become a doctor is the best course.
I’m sure there are plenty of people who would like to take a shot at medical school who would make fine doctors if they could handle the physical demands. And if there were enough doctors, and nurses, then it wouldn’t be so hard on everyone and they wouldn’t be “forced” to weed out the weak ones.
I consider myself very fortunate. I’ve only run into one doctor that I think shouldn’t have been in the practice. All the doctors I’ve seen over the years have been pretty exceptional, and the little local hospital we use is wonderful.
Amen. local, state and federal responses were botched at most steps along the way, but no sane person can question that the USCG was damn-near superhuman. They got their assets out of harm's way before the crash, then got them into (or back into) the zone in a hurry.
Before the next disaster, it's worth taking a mine out of finger-pointing to take a look at what the USCG got right. They did credit to their motto, "semper paratus" -- always prepared.
Apples and oranges. The storm hit the MS coast harder, both in wind strength and storm surge -- but those were relatively sparsely-populated areas, where nearly everyone had cars and most had access to a truck, so it was easier to et out of Dodge.
The vast majority of the damage to NOLA was not from the storm, but from the collapse of the levees. It flooded an urban core with a well-established mass transit system, Lots of people without cars. The Lower ninth Ward was simply not the same kind of place as Bay St. Louis or Pass Christien.
That is not to excuse the local authorities from responsibility. The challenges in New Orleans were something that NOLA should have known about and prepared for. All those school buses, which were destroyed at a cost of millions and could have saved the lives of thousands, should have been pressed into service -- most of the usual school bus drivers would want to flee with their families, but you can't tell me that the Louisiana National Guard didn't have enough drivers who could operate them.
The Superdome and the Convention Center should have been embarkation points, not shelters. One of my more radical ideas: Car dealers in New Orleans should have just handed the keys to residents and asked the to drop off the cars in Baton Rouge or Biloxi or even Memphis. What's to lose? They took a total loss on the cars in their lots.
Get every river barge and every Amtrak car in town ready for the evacuation. It wasn't just the school buses -- every but of rolling and floating gear destroyed in NOLA was a lost opportunity. Save lives now, figure out the compensation later.
My other radical notion is based on the fact that Wal-Mart stores in the storm zone had ice and bottled water ready to sell before FEMA had ice and water ready to give away. The solution: Contract out emergency operations to Wal-Mart. The whole company has built its success on tight logistics and inventory control. Why try to reinvent the wheel?
Every car, bus, truck, boat, train, every vehicle lost n NOLA could have been used to save lives. NOLA needed a Dunkirk. But there was not enough advance planning, not enough authority to adjust on the fly, and not enough flexibility to keep an eye on the ball. The Red Cross and other charitable groups brought caravans of relief that were turned away by government authorities that hadn't gotten the right paperwork. That has to stop.
If I used my own money, or raised enough money, to bring truckloads of water and tents and medicine, I would have been stopped from doing so by men with automatic rifles. Instead, we have thousands of FEMA trailers that are lined up and sinking into the Arkansas mud because, two years latter, folks still haven't figure out how to distribute them. That has to stop.
If someone is bleeding to death from the femoral artery, you apply a tourniquet -- figure out how o save the leg later.
We need a way to speed response. If that means limited immunity, if it means changes to the insurance structure, these are all things we've got to look at. If we need an act of Congress t ensure that my effort to bring good food to the hungry means that I won't be sued out of existence if someone chokes, than damn it, let's get some legislation.
You make some excellent points. The first responders MUST be those initially on the ground in the disaster area because until it’s deemed to be safe to enter the disaster area, not the Red Cross, FEMA nor any other relief agency will be permitted to go in, putting the lives of their employees or volunteers at risk.
While no one could have foreseen the damage Katrina inflicted on NOLA with the levee breaches, it’s indisputable that had Nagin and Blanco ORDERED (not just recommended) total evacuation of the city well in advance of the storm hitting, many more lives would have been saved and the resources used to rescue able bodied people off rooftops could instead have been used to rescue people unable to help themselves, like hospital and nursing home residents.
A helicopter rescue is painstaking and dangerous compared to driving into a neighborhood and loading 50 people on a school bus once every half hour.
One positive in Katrina is that places in NO that should NEVER have been developed in the first place will hopefully, not be redeveloped.
In today’s TP a very pertinent article.
Ex-Nagin aide pens tell-all book about Katrina
Posted by Gordon Russell, Staff writer August 25, 2007 10:23PM
Of the wild rumors to circulate across New Orleans in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, one of the more preposterous was the tale that Gov. Kathleen Blanco exacerbated the flooding by ordering helicopters sent to attempt repairs on the 17th Street Canal to instead rescue a politically connected minister and members of his congregation in eastern New Orleans.
But Mayor Ray Nagin apparently was among those who believed it, according to a new book by Sally Forman, Nagin’s former communications director, who was at his side during the storm and much of its aftermath. Forman self-published the book, which she said is based on voluminous notes she took while working for Nagin. The book is the first on Katrina written by someone who was with the mayor throughout the disaster.
Forman, the wife of Audubon Nature Institute chief executive Ron Forman, resigned her post because her husband decided to challenge Nagin in last year’s mayoral election. He finished third.
That the outrageous helicopter tale would find so prominent an adherent is typical of some of the anecdotes in Forman’s book, which reveals a pervasive level of mistrust among City Hall staffers and other officials.
Nagin and his staff weren’t the only ones to regard others with suspicion, according to the book. As misinformation spread in the wake of the storm, the bumbling response by all levels of government led to a circus of finger-pointing and recrimination.
Forman’s book, titled “Eye of the Storm,” touches on the blame game, but it is most revealing in its description of the mayor and his inner circle, because that was the world she inhabited. It offers a rare peek behind the curtain of an administration that likes to keep its inner workings private.
Nagin has never gone public with his theory about the governor calling off the helicopters; he did not respond to questions this week about whether he still believes it happened. The story was never formally investigated, perhaps because no one publicly alleged that it occurred.
You are right. Obviously the two areas are not really comparable. My point was that the media generally portrays Katrina as having scored a direct hit on NO. Had it done so, we might have had tens of thousands of dead, and perhaps less forceful criticism of the administration for its response. Who knows?
The old-fashioned earth levees all held, I believe. The levees that failed were the new, modern concrete ones. They failed well before reaching the stress they were supposed to be built to withstand.
This implies that somebody screwed up, either on design, construction or maintenance, and is therefore responsible for the disaster. Had the levees not failed, the damage would have been minimal.
Oddly, I’ve seen very little in the media on this subject, except in the weeks immediately after the storm. I suspect the reason is that the media doesn’t want to divert attention away from “Bush’s failure” during the response to the actual cause. The way it has been played, the implication is that the administration knew in advance exactly what would happen, and chose to let it continue in order to kill as many black people as possible.
Or possibly there’s just been an effective cover-up.
BTW, I like your ideas. Would require extensive changes in liability and insurance law. For instance, Katrina could have swerved at the last moment and missed NO, or the levees might have held. Then your car dealers would be up a creek.
Dramatic action such as you propose is generally only justified by hindsight. This is much like 9/11, where the very actions that could have prevented it would never have been considered justified or legal until after it had occurred.
The great lesson I take away from Katrina is that it takes about three days for an entitlement society to fall apart.
Fantastic interview, very strong woman and doctor. Dr. Pou specifically says that she never intended to cause death, only to deal with pain and anxiety.
She also gives a testimony to her faith, which evidently made her stronger.
May the Lord help anyone who is forced to do battlefield triage, especially under conditions that include the type of betrayal I suspect she was feeling.
I’m afraid that a huge part of the problem was the corporate medicine environment.
bump for later
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