Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas


There’s a running joke about hospitals here: “Where do you go for great health care in Las Vegas?”

“The airport.”

The implication is everyone knows hospital care in Southern Nevada is substandard.

The reality, however is that only a small circle of hospital officials, insurance executives, regulators and politicians have had access to meaningful information about the quality of hospitals in Las Vegas. Until now.

  • Part One
  • Part Two
  • Part Three
  • Part Four
  • Part Five

Health care
can hurt you

Among life’s core assumptions is that hospitals bring healing.

But sometimes they bring harm.

A hidden epidemic

Las Vegas hospital officials say they are doing enough to protect patients from becoming infected with deadly bacteria. But hospitals are failing.

Patients at risk
under the knife

The Sun analysis of 2008 and 2009 records revealed 710 accidental punctures or lacerations — more than half during elective procedures. In 38 cases, the patient died in the hospital.

Why we suffer

Mediocre hospital care in the Las Vegas Valley, evidenced by thousands of preventable injuries, infections and deaths, can be traced to a few fundamental causes.

How to put patients first

Future Las Vegas hospital patients can be protected if doctors and hospitals commit to do no harm.

Source Documents

Examine the source documents with annotations by reporter Marshall Allen.

Multimedia Features

Sun photographer Leila Navidi and video journalist Trent Ogle bring the report to life in photos and video.

Interactive Features

Explore the data behind the reporting with interactive maps, graphics and charts.

Reader Stories

Listen to and read the personal stories we received from readers in response to the project, or share your own story.

Series Credits

Marshall Allen
Alex Richards
Leila Navidi
Video Journalist
Trent Ogle
Director of Visual Journalism
Kristin Donaldson
Copy Editors
Linda Wrzesinski
Dave Mondt
Wade McAferty
Craig Peterson
Copy Desk Chief
Ellen Wager
Editorial Support
Rebecca Clifford-Cruz
Nadine Guy
Chris Morris
Print Design Editor
Rachel Perkins
Senior Web Designer
Danny DeBelius
Interactive Producer
Tyson Anderson
Digital Projects Editor
Levi Chronister
Editorial Writer
Matt Hufman
Assistant Managing Editor
Michael Squires
Senior Editor for Print
Tom Gorman
Senior Editor for Digital
Rob Curley
Publisher and Editor
Brian Greenspun