A Florida woman who refused to leave a hospital when doctors discharged her died after she was forcibly removed by police, according to authorities.
NBC News reports:
Barbara Dawson, 57, went to Liberty Calhoun Hospital in Blountstown, Florida, to seek treatment for breathing problems. Police were called to the emergency room when Dawson, who had been discharged by physicians, refused to leave. She was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing and was escorted out of the hospital in handcuffs.
As Dawson arrived at the officer’s car, she collapsed.
“Our officer asked for help once he realized the patient did indeed appear to be unresponsive and had medical staff respond to Ms. Dawson,” Blountstown Police Chief Mark Mallory said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mallory also said the police officer who arrested Dawson removed the handcuffs after she collapsed by his patrol car and escorted her back into the hospital.
“We were told by a doctor once she got back in the hospital that her vital signs were good and it was their decision to readmit her,” he said. He added that the dashcam footage from the officer’s car does not show the incident but it did pick up the audio.
Watch courtesy of WJHG:
But after Dawson was readmitted to the emergency room, she was pronounced dead an hour later. On Wednesday, the Florida state medical examiner ruled that Dawson died from natural causes due to a blood clot in her lung.
Barbara Dawson’s family said that the doctor and nurse deemed her “medically stable” and discharged her.
The family said Dawson wouldn’t leave because she was still in pain.
Dawson’s aunt Angela Donar says she witnessed the incident, according to WJHG.
“When he got her to the car, he opened the door and tried to put her in the car and after then she collapsed,” Donar explained. “They got the doctor to come out there and get a pulse of her and they couldn’t get no pulse. They bought a stretcher out there and took her back in the hospital.”
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