State Examining Hospital's Actions In Patient's Poisoning Death

A Los Angeles public hospital is under scrutiny from California health regulators over the treatment of a poison victim who died because it took too long to him the antidote he needed.

Donald Taylor, 51, was rushed to Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in the early hours of Oct. 1, after eating toxic oleander leaves.

According to a report published Saturday by the Los Angeles Times, hospital staff realized they did not have enough of vials of antidote to treat Taylor, so they asked a police supervisor at the county Office of Public Safety to retrieve additional antidote from another medical center located about three miles away.

The hospital employees figured the police supervisor would be able to get to the other hospital and back quicker in his patrol car - but the officer refused to do so.

A hospital worker then set out to get the antidote.

Taylor, died an hour before the employee returned.

Olive View's acting chief executive says the hospital is taking steps to prevent similar episodes.

The hospital has been cited five times by regulators since January.

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services spokesman Michael Wilson says state regulators informed the county they will likely determine that Olive View's treatment of Taylor was deficient.

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