Who Was At Fault?
When a tragedy happens, ascertaining who was at fault is part of avoiding repetition. Unfortunately, more people died at Memorial than should have. The deaths at Memorial Hospital in the wake of hurricane Katrina were tragic and avoidable.
Who was to blame?
Government: The government at all levels was UNPREPARED, AND COMPOUNDED THIS RESPONSIBILITY when it abandoned not only the patients but also the medical personnel treating them at Memorial Hospital. The lack of police protection, delayed rescue efforts and the LACK OF STRATEGIC PLANNING ENSURED TRAGIC OUTCOMES ACROSS THE CITY...
LifeCare: LifeCare Corporation, was a for-profit company which rented space in the hospital from Tenet, Memorial’s parent company. LifeCare ran Long Term Acute Care facilities, whose patients were disproportionately old and acutely ill, many already in the last days of their lives. THEIR OWN WEBSITE AT THE TIME DESCRIBED THEIR PATIENTS AS OFTEN HAVING CATASTROPHIC SYSTEM FAILURES. Many were dependent on sophisticated machines. Besides the space at Memorial, LifeCare operated a second small facility in nearby St. Bernard Parish AS WELL AS SEVERAL OTHERS IN LOUISIANA AND OTHER LOCATIONS. Disregarding all logic, and apparently all regard for the safety of their patients, LifeCare opted to move their nineteen St. Bernard patients not out of harm’s way to LifeCare's Shreveport facility but back into it by moving them the short thirteen miles to Memorial. Moreover, they left these patients without a doctor to care for them. Why did LifeCare take the easy way out? Why were the LifeCare patients not evacuated to wherever the LifeCare medical director went? The answer can be summed up in one word: money. SIMPLY PUT, LIFECARE WAS IN THE PROCESS OF A MEGA-MILLION DOLLAR SALE AND TRANSFERRING PATIENTS TO THE CERTAIN SAFETY OF SHREVEPORT VERSUS NEW ORLEANS WAS NOT IN THE CARDS.
Who was not to blame?
The courageous doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, nursing assistants, dietary workers and housekeeping personnel and patients, family members and other volunteers who worked long hours under arduous conditions to provide the best care possible to all patients.