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Womans Death increases Pressure on LA Hospital to close down

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the hospital 23 days to correct problems or face a loss of federal funding that provides much of its budget. That could force it to close. It was the fourth time in less than four years that the hospital had received the warning.

The federal review was based, in part, on a report that a man with a brain tumor waited four days in the emergency room when he needed to be transferred to another facility for lifesaving brain surgery.

Dr. Roger Peeks, the hospital's chief medical officer, was placed on 'ordered absence' Monday and replaced on an interim basis by Dr. Robert Splawn, senior medical officer for the county health department. Department spokesman Michael Wilson confirmed the change but declined to elaborate Wednesday, saying it was a personnel matter.

L.A. County supervisor Zev Yarovslosky called the hospital's actions a moral and human breakdown.

Burke said the county-run hospital, which handles 49,000 emergency patients a year, is a crucial facility and efforts should be made to keep it open because nearby hospitals could not handle the load. Health officials are 'doing everything in our power to help MLK-Harbor meet national standards,' Dr. Bruce Chernof, director and chief medical officer of health department, said in a statement.

Sheriff's department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department was reviewing the handling of the 911 calls by two of its dispatchers.


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