Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hospital Settles Out-of-Court

A New Hampshire hospital has settled a lawsuit over its treatment of deaf patients. Portsmouth Regional Hospital has agreed to pay a $20,000 penalty and will pay one deaf patient $35,000, her husband $15,000, and another deaf patient will get $10,000. Among the changes Portsmouth has agreed to make:
  • Free use of interpreters
  • Modified admission forms
  • Creation of a list of nearby interpreters
  • TTY availability
  • Staff training
  • Video Relay options
  • Advertisements for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients
The lawsuit claimed a deaf woman who suffered a heart attack spent four days in the hospital without an interpreter. Her husband was asked to translate. On other occasions, they were given a notepad to write on and was even given a pregnant interpreter who could not perform her duties because of radiation used in the procedure. The lawsuit also revealed other instances where the patients were not provided interpreters.

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