Woman dies in hot car outside Nevada hospital after barred from accompanying her husband
An elderly woman died in a hot car outside a Nevada veterans hospital while her husband was receiving a blood transfusion after being barred from entry due to COVID rules.
Lear Litt, 75, died of hyperthermia (overheating) in her 110-degree car after officials at North Las Vegas VA Hospital said she could not accompany her husband, David Litt, as he underwent a transfusion. of blood in August 2020.
David, a military veteran, has now spoken out from his heartbreak over his wife’s death and says he doesn’t know why she didn’t keep the engine running and the air conditioning on.
Lear told a passerby that he was afraid the car would run out of gas, but David said he never let the tank get more than half full.
She choked on the memory of worrying why she hadn’t heard from Lear when she called, and then she realized that she was being given emergency compressions across the hall while the staff tried in vain to save her.
Lear Litt (left) died of hyperthermia after she was forced to wait in her hot car while her husband, David Lear (right), underwent a blood transfusion.
Lear was found dead, with a body temperature of 109 degrees, in the parking lot of North Las Vegas VA Hospital on August 20, 2020. She had been denied entry to the hospital due to COVID-19 protocols.
Visitors were not allowed in the emergency department due to COVID rules.
Lear, who left the parking lot around 9:30 a.m., was found dead in her car shortly after 2:30 p.m. with a body temperature of 109 degrees. KLAS informed.
“Rapid response in the parking lot,” David Lear, now 78, recalled hearing over the public address system. ‘Someone is doing compressions and I’m across the hall from where this is happening, but I knew it was her. Without even seeing it, I knew it was her.
David underwent his procedure on August 20, 2020 during the peak of the pandemic. Hospitals across the country were struggling with capacity limitations and most of the world was still closed.
Non-essential visitors have been barred from many medical facilities to try to reduce the risk of COVID transmission, and vaccines are still months away from being approved.
David Litt asked hospital staff to check on his wife around 2:30 pm after she did not return his phone calls. She was pronounced dead shortly after.
The couple, who had been married for 57 years, arrived at the facility in the morning only to find that Lear was not allowed to enter the building.
“They let him in to tell me he couldn’t go in,” David told the television station last week. ‘That’s when I gave him my phone. I said, “Okay, I’ll call you to see how you are.”
Lear sat in her parked car, which was not running, for several hours waiting for her husband’s treatment to finish.
A doctor on his way to the facility reportedly spoke to her around noon, claiming that she had been in the car with the windows down. The car was turned off.
The doctor claims that Lear said the vehicle was low on gas, so he couldn’t let it run, a claim David disputed.
‘One thing I made a habit of [was] never go below half a tank of gas,’ explained the widowed veteran.
David and Lear were high school sweethearts and were married for 57 years.
David Litt, a veteran widower, appears in his military uniform.
In the mid-afternoon, after David instructed staff to monitor his wife for not answering his calls, Lear was found unconscious and rushed to hospital.
Officers attempted to resuscitate her, but were unsuccessful. Lear was pronounced dead at the facility.
The coroner’s report indicates that he died of hyperthermia. His death was ruled an accident.
David, who continues to mourn the loss of his high school sweetheart, apparently believes the incident was prevented.
“I think that could have been handled very differently,” he said.
The coroner ruled that Lear’s death was an accident.
In the wake of Lear’s death, which was investigated by various VA departments, a new policy was installed at the hospital.
Patients are now allowed to have a visitor accompany them to their appointment. The hospital has also increased patrols in the parking lot.
“The unfortunate reality was that we spent a lot of time assessing risks, protecting veterans, protecting staff and after that incident happened, we had to step back and say, well, there’s also a secondary risk because of the weather here.’ said William Caron, chief of the VA’s Southern Nevada Health System.
‘Do you think the people who interacted with her made a mistake?’ KLAS reporter Vanessa Murphy questioned.
In the wake of Lear’s death, which was investigated by various VA departments, a new policy was installed at the hospital. Patients are now allowed to have a visitor accompany them to their appointment. The hospital has also increased patrols in the parking lot.
David claims that the VA never notified him of the investigations into his wife’s death, claiming that he learned of the investigation from the news outlet. He also claimed that he was not informed of the policy change.
“I think we can go back in time, go back and review every detail, but to say someone was malicious or reckless, I wouldn’t say that,” Caron replied. “The goal was the greater good of protecting all veterans.”
David claims that the VA never notified him of the investigations into his wife’s death, claiming that he learned of the investigation from the news outlet.
He also stated that he was not informed of the policy change.
“It will help someone else if the same situation comes up, but it’s not helping me at all,” he said.