Woman left alone for hours at Joliet dialysis center dies

Karen Jordan Image
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Patient left alone at dialysis center dies
A patient died after being found alone for hours while awaiting a ride home from a dialysis center.

JOLIET, Ill. -- Joliet police are investigating the death of a patient who died a day after she was left alone for hours while awaiting a ride home from a dialysis center.

The 71-year-old Shorewood woman had been going to dialysis three times a week at DaVita Renal Center West at the Silver Cross Professional building since September.

Transported by a Kurtz Medivan, she came on Saturday at 3 p.m. for her 4-hour treatment, but it wasn't until 11: 45 p.m. Saturday that authorities were called by the woman's daughter.

When they arrived, they saw the woman alert but disoriented in the waiting room and had to break in to get her. She was taken to a hospital, where she died several hours later.

A spokesperson with DaVita said: "Staff did a check of the dialysis suite and waiting room before locking up at 8:45 p.m. and leaving out of the back of the building" and that "the patient must have been in the front lobby."

Furthermore, he said: "We are working in partnership with local law enforcement to understand how, after leaving our dialysis suite, a patient apparently was not picked up by their transportation service. By law, we are prohibited from entering into business relationships with transportation companies. Patients choose and arrange their own transportation to and from treatments."

The vice president of Kurtz Ambulance Service said return service is not automatically scheduled by the company, rather, they are contacted by the facility or the patient once treatment is done. In this case, they say they were never contacted.

The DaVita spokesperson said they are continuing to review building security video to determine exactly what happened.

Will County Coroner Patrick K. O'Neil said he is not investigation the death.