Do No Harm: Part Four

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.

Missouri family loses its rock

David Butts died within hours of being administered a painkiller while trying to pass a kidney stone at Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center.

Flesh wound was so much more

The only way people believe his story, Harold Abramowski says, is when they see his scar.

After surgery, an injury uncured

Everything went fine with Sern Englestead’s heart surgery. Not so, though, in postoperative recovery.

Where I Stand

Hospitals should examine what ails them, seek cure

When someone is very sick, he goes to the doctor with a list of ailments and asks, “What’s wrong? Can you give me something to get better? What can I do?”

Why Nevada’s nurses quit

Newly hired nurses in Nevada used terms like “dangerous” and “unsafe” to describe the conditions in hospitals in a 2005 UNLV study.

Leaving hospital saved her life

Kathy Shafer knew she was bleeding internally after an operation at Sunrise Hospital Medical Center, but she says no one would listen to her.


Study: Patients suffering harm in hospitals a national problem

An ongoing Las Vegas Sun investigation paints a bleak portrait of hospital care in Southern Nevada. But according to a federal government study released Tuesday, the situation may be much worse.


Interactive Features


See the source material behind the stories: legal filings, academic research, minutes from legislative hearings and internal e-mails.

See the results

Explore the data on patient complaints with an interactive graphic.


  • Harold Abramowski

    Harold Abramowski developed an open wound after a chemotherapy port on his chest leaked, causing the drug to seep into his flesh at MountainView Hospital in February 2009.

  • Sern Englestead

    Sern Englestead developed a large pressure sore on his buttocks after heart surgery at Sunrise Hospital in January 2009. He continues to receive treatment for the wound.

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