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Problems at King/Drew Reflect Official Neglect

March 21, 2004

Re "No More Trauma at King/Drew," editorial, March 18: Errors in medical care are inevitable, as long as humans are involved with providing this service. This is especially true in prescribing and dispensing medication, since this occurs millions of times a day throughout the country. These errors range from a simple delay in administering drugs to egregious mistakes, such as giving the wrong medicine to a patient. Nevertheless, all forms of error must be corrected.

King/Drew Medical Center has suffered for years from inattention, lack of sufficient funding, inadequate staffing, a handful of incompetent and uncaring healthcare providers and a varying quality of leadership. All of these issues eventually led to the problems that are being uncovered. The Times' comment that "the county supervisors aren't off the hook" shows insight. The rising costs of healthcare underscore that any hospital -- including King/Drew -- cannot survive without the resources needed to provide safe, quality care.

Thomas Yoshikawa MD

Chief of Internal Medicine

King/Drew Medical Center

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