HOUSTON - "I felt like I was in a bad dream, I really did," emergency room patient Arnold Salas said.
A terrifying scene played out in the middle of an ER waiting room when Salas showed up to St. Luke’s at the Vintage bleeding badly from a deep cut to his arm.
He said he suffered the cut during an altercation.
He never expected what would happen next.
"They kept telling me that I have to wait. They repeated to me that I had to wait, for me to take a seat in order for me to see someone," Salas said.
Others in the ER waiting room saw what was happening and recorded it on their phones.
"There were security guys there. There was a lady at the desk. It appeared that nobody was doing anything," Tamera Torero said. "There was a complete breakdown ... because that shouldn’t have happened."
After having his vitals taken, Salas said he had to wait between 30 and 45 minutes before being taken back.
He collapsed in the waiting room before that happened.
"Nobody wanted to help me. I fell on the ground, and I felt like I was actually going to die," Salas said.
St. Luke’s Hospital issued this statement:
"CHI St. Luke’s is very concerned about the images that have been posted online and we are investigating every aspect of this incident. These images do not reflect a level of care consistent with what we expect of ourselves.
"We have reached out to the patient to discuss his care. We may have further comments following completion of our review, and appropriate permission from the patient. We take our obligations to protect the privacy of our patients seriously, and will not compromise their privacy without their permission.
"Regardless of whether we can speak further about the matter, we will take appropriate action to deal with any issues identified by our review."
Salas said he’s planning to hire an attorney.
"I don't know why I had to wait so long. Why does it take for me to walk around and collapse on the ground before somebody’s going to come and see me?" he said.
He said he hopes no one else goes through what he had to.
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