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Video Shows that Portland Adventist Hospital Acted Quickly

An interesting development in Reuters’ report on a press conference held yesterday by Portland Adventist Medical Center and attended by the police department:

Surveillance video shows that a hospital criticized for a slow response acted correctly in quickly sending a paramedic to help a man who crashed his car and died in the hospital parking garage while trying to get to the emergency room.


The video was played at a press conference called by officials at Portland Adventist Medical Center on Tuesday to defend their handling of the heart patient. City police who first rushed to the man’s aid had suggested emergency room staff wasted precious time by telling them to call 911 for an ambulance rather than sending medical help directly to the scene a short distance from the ER entrance.


But hospital officials exhibited surveillance video footage showing that the ER’s charge nurse did immediately send a paramedic on foot to follow police out to the parking lot.

The Reuters report on the press conference continues:

The video also confirmed that the patient, Birgilio Marin-Fuentes, 61, was wheeled straight from the garage back to the ER on a gurney by paramedics, though an ambulance also was sent as a backup.


Adventist President and Chief Executive Tom Russell said a review of the video and interviews with those involved showed hospital employees followed proper protocol.


“Everyone who responded to the incident that morning did everything that they could have and exactly what they should have to save this man’s life,” he said.

This updates this summary of the initial media reports. The Oregonian adds:

Forty-seconds after learning of the crash, a charge nurse sent an ambulance paramedic who was in the ER to respond. Video surveillance shows the paramedic retrieved a First Aid kit and then a cervical collar from an ambulance parked in the hospital bay, and walked up to the two Portland officers doing CPR in the parking garage at 12:53:21, 27 seconds before an ambulance pulled up.

Police Chief Mike Reese, who stood briefly with Russell at the news conference, praised his officers’ “lifesaving efforts” on behalf of Birgilio Marin-Fuentes, who had suffered heart failure. But Reese parsed his comments about the hospital’s response.
“It seems clear the hospital was preparing a response to aid Mr. Marin-Fuentes,” Reese said, before leaving to attend a city council work session.
What’s also clear is no one from the hospital noticed that Marin-Fuentes had been driving in the wrong lane as he approached the parking garage, that his car had crashed at the entrance to the parking garage outside the emergency entrance, or that it had run into a steel column in the parking structure and came to a stop at a 45-degree angle across two spaces until a bystander alerted police 22 minutes later.
The hospital has 190 camera screens that are watched by two security officers who are often pulled away, Russell said. He also said that multiple cars had driven by the black Kia Sorento, including security and police, without noticing anything amiss.

Watch the security video footage here:

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