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Registered Nurses Report Hazardous Conditions And Poor Sanitation At California Pacific Medical Center

10/25/2005 1:03:33 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- CPMC Registered Nurses appeared at a San Francisco Board of Supervisors Government Oversight and Audit Committee hearing yesterday. RNs testified about the acute deterioration of patient care and sanitation standards inside California Pacific Medical Center since 800 caregivers were forced to strike on September 13. One CPMC labor and delivery nurse reported conditions so bad that a bucket full of old blood and tissue was discovered under a patient's bed after strike replacement workers failed to properly clean the area after an earlier delivery.

"What would (CPMC CEO) Marty Brotman say if he had a family member delivering a baby in these unsanitary conditions," said RN Nika Claes. "We are functioning like the 3rd world. The replacement workers are not trained or screened well. I would not even want to have my baby here. CPMC must end this strike and bring caregivers back where they belong: on the hospital floor."

Jonica Brooks, a Registered Nurse on CPMC's Post Acute floor, reported the spread of hospital-acquired infection amongst patients due to negligence by strike replacement workers. "We have bathrooms that haven't been cleaned in days," Brooks told the Supervisors. "I have seen patient acquire bed sores because the replacement workers are not well trained. This should never happen. This didn't happen when caregivers were not on strike."

At a press conference before the hearing, a public statement was released from Dr. Mitch Katz, San Francisco Director of Public Health: "I am deeply concerned about the possible deterioration of patient care and sanitation standards at California Pacific Medical Center. Since caregivers were forced to strike on September 13, CPMC Registered Nurses have reported unsanitary conditions that may put patients at risk of nosocomial infections and other dangerous health problems. I applaud San Francisco's nurses and health care advocates for their efforts to protect the public health."

Representatives from CPMC management were absent from the hearing, despite the requested testimony of CPMC CEO Marty Brotman by Board President Aaron Peskin. "As caregivers have been out there fighting for higher standards in the world of health care, we are losing our patience," said Peskin. "Everyday that continues, our resolve grows stronger. I will continue do everything I can to support you (caregivers on strike)."

Supervisor Peskin also entertained testimony from striking caregivers regarding the importance of the industry standards featured in the Federal Mediator's compromise proposal for settlement. Caregivers are striking to win a real voice in staffing levels, an employee education fund, and the right for other CPMC employees to join a union without intimidation and interference from management. These standards are already in place at every major hospital system in Northern California, including Kaiser, Catholic Healthcare West, and Daughters of Charity.

SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, with more than 140,000 members, is the largest and most powerful healthcare union in the Western United States. We represent every type of healthcare worker, including nursing, professional, technical and service classifications. Our mission is to achieve quality healthcare for all.

CONTACT: Thea Lavin, c. 510-520-7732

SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West

CONTACT: Thea Lavin of SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, cell,+1-510-520-7732

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