Man dies during police, hospital confusion

Feb. 11, 2011 at 4:42 PM
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PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A 61-year-old man who drove himself to a Portland, Ore., hospital died, and police said they were frustrated that hospital policy delayed the man's treatment.

The hospital responded by saying police are confused about its policies, KATU-TV, Portland, reported Friday.

Birgilio Marin-Fuentes, who was feeling ill and drove himself to Portland Adventist Medical Center in Southeast Portland early Thursday, crashed his car into a light pole in the hospital's parking lot about 100 feet from the emergency room, KATU-TV said.

Someone saw Marin-Fuentes unconscious and alerted police who were already at the hospital on an unrelated matter.

Police said they did CPR while one officer ran to the emergency room to get more help.

Lt. Kelli Sheffer, with the Portland Police Bureau, said the officers were given the impression the ER staff was refusing to help, saying they needed to call an ambulance because of a hospital policy prohibiting them from treating people unless the patients are inside the ER doors.

However, Dr. Kelli Westcott with Portland Adventist said they don't have a policy barring them from treating someone on the grounds.

"It is very unfortunate that was the perception that the police officer had," she said. "But it certainly is not the reality and has never been the reality. We have a system in place to respond all over campus."

The hospital said the officers might have been confused because the ER staff called for an ambulance because the problem was reported to them as a car crash.

The medical examiner said Marin-Fuentes died of heart disease.

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