Woman died soon after leaving Wisconsin hospital ER due to long wait

A 25-year-old woman who sought care at Milwaukee-based Froedtert Hospital's emergency room and left to find quicker access to care, died soon after, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.

Tashonna Ward, a teacher at a child care center, began feeling chest pain and having breathing problems Jan. 2. Ms. Ward's sister took her to the ER at Froedtert, where they checked in a little before 5 p.m, the Milwaukee County medical examiner's report, obtained by the Journal Sentinel, shows. ER staff conducted a chest X-ray, which showed Ms. Ward had an enlarged heart. Ms. Ward was then asked to stay in the waiting room.

The medical examiner's report does not say whether Ms. Ward was seen by a physician after that or whether more tests were performed, but according to phone logs, text messages and Ms. Ward's posts on Facebook, she was left in the waiting room and told she might have to wait two to six hours to see a physician. She left the ER at 7:30 p.m., after waiting nearly two and half hours, to find an urgent care clinic, according to the medical examiner's report.

Froedtert Hospital staff called Ms. Ward at 8:39 p.m., by which point Ms. Ward had collapsed and was being brought back to Froedtert in an ambulance. She arrived at the hospital a little after 9 p.m., but she was unresponsive and pronounced dead soon after.

The medical examiner has not determined the cause of death, but Ms. Ward's family is seeking answers from the hospital and plans to meet with hospital officials next week.

"The family is in our thoughts and has our deepest sympathy. We cannot comment further at this time," a spokesperson from the hospital told the Journal Sentinel.

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