updated 12/11/2009 3:38:01 PM ET 2009-12-11T20:38:01

Six University Medical Center employees have been suspended while the county investigates claims that a woman was ignored for so long in the emergency room that she went home and gave birth to a premature baby who later died.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

Clark County released a statement Friday from hospital chief executive Kathy Silver expressing condolences to the 25-year-old woman, Roshunda Abney, and promising a thorough investigation.

"All of our employees are expected to treat patients with dignity, respect and kindness," Silver said. "We will uncover what happened that day and will not stand for the mistreatment of our patients or their families."

Others who were in the waiting room at the region's only public hospital have corroborated accounts by Abney and her fiance, Raffinee Dewberry, that they were ignored for several hours Nov. 30 until they finally left.

Abney gave birth at home to a premature baby girl who died a short time later, authorities said.

In a separate issue, county officials also said in the statement the hospital was sending letters to more than 100 patients treated at the regional trauma center Oct. 31 or Nov. 1, offering free credit monitoring to those whose personal information may have been leaked to outsiders.

Silver has said the hospital was cooperating with an FBI investigation of whether Social Security numbers and other information may have been given to personal injury attorneys. Silver said those allegations hadn't been proved.

The county-run hospital has stepped up its patient record security procedures, Silver said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments