(WXYZ) — Questions continue to surround Beaumont Health’s decision to transfer all of their coronavirus patients out of their Wayne location. And now an Oakland County woman wants to know why doctors were pushing them to sign a Do Not Resuscitate order for her mother while still insisting the critical patient be sent to another hospital system.
This young woman asked us not to use her name because both of her parents are battling COVID-19 and she wanted to respect their privacy, but she absolutely wanted the story of how her mom was treated to be told.
This daughter had to watch from afar as her mom was carefully loaded onto U of M’s survival flight last Tuesday. The Oakland County woman who’s in her 50s was moved from Beaumont Wayne to Michigan Medicine, but only after her daughter went to battle for her.
“Was she getting the care that she needed? Was the medical staff able to make the decision they wanted to, did they have the resources to make these decisions,” she asked in an interview with 7 Investigator Heather Catallo.
Her mom’s coronavirus journey started in the ER at Beaumont Farmington Hills, but she was immediately sent to Beaumont Wayne.
“She was admitted to the ICU there. And I want to be clear that the nurses and the people taking care of my mom were excellent caring people… However I started to get concerned when I saw on the Facebook post that Beaumont posted about discharging all COVID patients out of their hospital, and that was a crummy way to hear about it when your mom is there,” she said.
Despite turning into a COVID-19-only facility back on March 26, Beaumont Wayne discharged or transferred all of its patients and closed its doors last week.
Beaumont officials say they are putting the place on “pause” and had said they may use it again for another surge, but hundreds of employees received lay off notices.
“My mom was at Beaumont Wayne for less than a week. Why was she even sent there in the first place if they knew this place would be shutting down,” she said.
Her mom was stable until last Monday, and then on Tuesday she got a call from her mom’s doctor.
“He basically said she had a 90% chance of dying… He was really pushing for a DNR, and so at that point, I called my dad and got him on the line,” she said.
She says not only did the doctor want them to sign a Do Not Resuscitate order, he had other news for them.
“He’s also saying by the way, we’re still going to transfer her. And I’m confused – she’s taken a turn for the worse and now we still need to move her? Is that safe,” she asked.
She says they wanted to move her to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Ann Arbor. The 7 Investigators first reported last week that between Detroit and Ann Arbor, the VA took 39 patients from Beaumont.
Four of them were from Wayne as it closed its doors to all patients during the pandemic.
“It wasn’t like we’re transferring her because this is the best thing for her, at all. It was like - it’s what we’re doing and you don’t have a choice… I don’t blame that doctor, I think that this is coming from administration, corporate,” she said. “The impression that I got was that they had given up on my mother. And that is scary and sad to me, and I’m concerned about why this DNR was being pushed on me.”
Beaumont Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Wilson says the governor’s order allowing hospitals to “load balance” patients across other health systems let Beaumont consolidate their own medical staff where they were needed most.
“If the patients and the families were tying those conversations together, that was not the intent," Wilson said. "That conversation around a Do Not Resuscitate Order and a transfer – I understand that the timing felt like that. I think it was really a part of the disease state rather than any intent to tie those together.”
“Was the administration pushing doctors to transfer patients out,” asked Catallo during an interview with Wilson.
“No, no not at all,” Wilson said. “My apologies to families that felt that their loved one got transferred and it was not what they wanted, it’s certainly not what would we want either. But I would say Beaumont remains very, very committed to caring for patients in a safe way. And I have to say I’m so proud of the way our system has cared for covid patients.”
The Oakland County woman is now considered a “full code” patient at Michigan Medicine, and there is not Do Not Resuscitate Order in place.
If you have a story for Heather Catallo please email her at email@example.com
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