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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 17:12

Official trauma hospital for DC power brokers cuts costs amid sewage leaks, safety problems

Written by  USA Today

WASHINGTON — Sewage that leaks down the walls and on the operating room floors is among the many problems at the go-to hospital for Congress and the White House, according to interviews and documents obtained by USA TODAY.

The D.C. health department is now investigating the leaks at MedStar Washington Hospital Center only after the department received a complaint, not because it was alerted by the hospital. The problems included the room in which Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise had his last surgery after being shot at a congressional baseball practice in June.

In an interview, the chief medical officer, Gregory Argyros, described MedStar Washington as "the most important hospital in the most important city in the most important country in the world."

The hospital serves both a lower-income section of Washington and some of the nation's most powerful people. Designated as official Washington's trauma hospital of choice, it also suffers from some of the Washington area's worst hospital ratings. 

USA TODAY interviewed two dozen current and former hospital employees, local government officials and health experts to determine how this once-venerated health care facility — dubbed "ER One" because of its emergency room's disaster focused-design — has fallen so far in reputation.

Doctors, nurses and records describe an aging, understaffed facility where:

• The last operating room in which Scalise had surgery, No.

Read more at USA Today

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