Korean War Vet Complains About Care At Pocahontas Memorial Hospital

Marlinton, WV – At the monthly meeting of the Pocahontas County Memorial Hospital, the first order of business was to hear a complaint from 81 year old Korean Was Veteran and former EMT Mr. Cassell of Cass. Mr. Cassell was transported to the Hospital on Friday the 15th of January.

“I went through an awful bad experience in here week end before last over my diarrhea and I don’t think I got the care I should have” says Mr. Cassell.”

Mr. Cassell says that after being transported to the hospital, it was over an hour before he was seen by a Doctor. He was told what he had was viral and an IV was ordered as well as blood tests. After being placed in his hospital room, he was left alone in his street clothes. He received no assistance in changing clothes or cleaning himself after numerous diarrhea related incidents.

He says that he received no medication for his diarrhea until he saw Dr. Soriano the next morning and still it was nearly noon before he got the medication.
He also says he didn’t understand many of the papers he was asked to sign and feels that he should not have been asked to sign them until he had the time and ability to understand what he was signing. And he was surprised when a nurse asked him if his family could bring in his medication for his triglycerides. He didn’t think a patient should have to provide his own medication.

He questioned the Hospitals No Smoking Policy and how it pertains to chewing tobacco. He says he’s chewed since he was 16 and at 81 feels that his habit is not harming anyone other than himself. He says if he ever has to come back to the hospital, he isn’t sure what he will do.

Mr. Cassell let the Board know that he was not complaining for the sake of complaining but rather to help them ensure that such incidents don’t occur to others.

The Board listened intently as Mr. Cassell addressed them for nearly a half hour. After he finished PMH Board Chairman Dr. Bob Must admitted that the hospital had not provided a proper level of care to Mr. Cassell.

“Sounds like we failed on several fronts. We asked you fill out all kinds of Policies which is a Policy but we’re going to look at how to make that more user friendly. You had to wait a long time, we didn’t provide you with an aide to help you in your room to help you change from your street clothes. We didn’t provide you with medicine in a timely basis. So it looks like you have a whole litany of issues that we will have to examine closely.”

Dr Must also said the board would look at the tobacco policy regarding chewing tobacco. Dr. Must asked Interim CEO Barbara Lay have Mr. Cassell’s complaints thoroughly investigated. Lay said that the Hospital would provide a personal answer to Mr. Cassell as soon as they completed their investigation.

Dr. Must and the Board took Mr. Cassell’s assertions seriously. Dr Must said the Hospital is seeking to improve quality across the board and that they appreciated Mr. Cassell coming forward and bringing this incident to their attention.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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