Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "medical records" ...

  • The final days of Laura and Walton

    Laura Connell believed she was going to lose custody of her only child, Walton, despite years of abuse at the hands of her child’s father. After coming to Delaware to escape the abuse and appealing to the Delaware courts, it appeared she was still going to have to turn over her son to his father. She never did – instead killing first him and then herself on the morning of her family court hearing. Hundreds of pages of court documents, medical records and other records provided both by Laura herself and the courts detail the abuse and claims Laura said never reached a judge or were taken seriously. The story explains why mothers kill their children and what can drive parents to commit murder- suicide in a world in which we often lack those answers.
  • A Dangerous Delay

    In November 2018, Olivia Paregol’s father frantically called the University of Maryland from the intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The 18-year-old freshman, who had lived in a mold-infested dorm, was fighting for her life and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Was there anything else on campus making students sick? The director of the student health center knew of severe cases of adenovirus on campus but the public had no clue. Less than a week later, Olivia was dead from the virus and the outbreak would sicken dozens of students. It was only after her death that school officials informed the campus about the virus. Ian Paregol had more questions than answers: How long had the university known? Why didn’t they tell Olivia or other students when they showed up sick at the student health center? Washington Post reporters Jenn Abelson, Amy Brittain and Sarah Larimer interviewed more than 100 people and obtained thousands of pages of medical records, hundreds of emails, text messages, voicemails and other documents to reconstruct the events that led to Olivia’s death and threatened the health and safety of thousands of students at the University of Maryland campus. College officials said it would cost $63,000 to disclose internal emails about the outbreak, so reporters obtained many of those records from state and county agencies. In May, the Washington Post published “A Dangerous Delay,” a detailed investigation examining the outbreak of mold and adenovirus at the University of Maryland. The reporters revealed that the school waited 18 days to inform students about the virus and officials discussed — but decided against — notifying students with compromised immune systems, like Olivia, and those living in mold-infested dorms.
  • Bad Medicine Behind Bars

    The death of inmate Mario Martinez in Alameda County’s jail led 2 Investigates to uncover a web of medical negligence, gaps in oversight, and cozy connections to public officials accepting money. We analyzed hundreds of pages of medical records, coroner’s reports, and court documents, which showed that despite multiple court orders the jail’s medical provider, Corizon Healthcare, repeatedly denied surgery to Martinez before his death.
  • Northwestern student who killed himself initially referred to CAPS waitlist

    During his freshman year at Northwestern University, Jason Arkin tried to get a counseling appointment at Northwestern's Counseling and Psychological Services. In his intake, he told the staff member he had "fleeting thoughts of self-harm." However, Jason was referred to the center's waitlist for one-on-one counseling. Throughout his three years at Northwestern, Jason struggled with mental health and at the end of his sophomore and junior years, he stopped attending his classes. At the end of his sophomore year, his parents were notified, however, and he left campus before taking his finals. At the end of his junior year, even though medical records show administrators knew he stopped attending classes, his parents weren't notified. In May of his junior year, he took his own life. He was the second student in less than a month to die from suicide.
  • Of Natural Causes: Death in Illinois Prisons

    When WBEZ reported in 2011 and 2012 on prison conditions in Illinois we were struck by the number of complaints regarding the lack of healthcare in the Illinois Department of Corrections. They reported some of the worst cases (and there were many) like Christopher Clingingsmith who told the prison doctor that his jaw was broken but medical records show he recieved no care for 8 weeks. By that point his jaw had to be rebroken to fix it. The healthcare in Illinois prisons is provided by a private company that has a 1.4 billion dollar contract with the state but that company doesn’t seem to do a very good job providing the care that taxpayers have paid for. Given the horror stories we heard they wondered how many people were dying inside because of a lack of care. The reporting analyzed the cases of inmates who died while serving sentences in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
  • Culture of Fear

    A University of Minnesota hospital insider comes forward with secret recordings which reveal a "culture of fear" and a "research at all costs" attitude in which the well being of extremely vulnerable psychiatric patients takes a back seat to having them participate in drug trials. The series includes a profile of one patient who's own medical records provide compelling evidence he was coerced into taking an experimental drug that nearly drove him to commit suicide. Another report probes the haunting case of a UM psychiatrist who diagnosed a teenager with a mental illness and determined he needed medication to reduce the threat of violent behaviors. But the doctor did not disclose his findings to the boy's family. Weeks later the boy, who was still un-medicated, went on a killing spree.
  • A Fight For Faith

    Fight Night VI was billed as a boxing event for charity, with the main bout featuring two former college football players. But the event, hosted by Guts Church in Tulsa, Okla., was unsanctioned with no licensed referee or judges and no ringside doctor. When the bout was over, former University of Tulsa linebacker George Clinkscale, who had sickle cell trait, lost his life, leaving behind his pregnant fiancee and a young daughter. Using previously unseen video of the fight and unreleased medical records, Outside the Lines investigated the alarming lapses that led up to Clinkscale's death at the unconventional mega-church, where its pastor preaches the gospel of toughness and sports. The story explores what could have been done to prevent the tragedy, and raises disturbing questions about the methods used by some churches today to recruit new money and members
  • Ken and Rosie

    After many months of negotiation, NBC News’ Senior Investigative correspondent Lisa Myers and Rock Center producer Diane Beasley gained exclusive, unprecedented access to the highly secretive world of biomedical research and one of the few labs in the country that still uses chimpanzees in invasive research, The Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Our report took viewers inside the lab to see how the chimps live and explored the raging ethical and scientific debate over using our closest relative for invasive biomedical research. We spotlighted the plight of 2 aging chimps with health problems, ”Ken and Rosie,” who have spent virtually all 30 years of their lives in research labs, and undergone many painful procedures and raised the question of whether they now deserve to be retired to a sanctuary. We obtained the chimps medical records and revealed that both have serious health problems, even though the lab claims they are healthy and perfect candidates for research. We asked tough questions of the Director of the Primate Center, Dr. John VandeBerg, who asserted that his lab provides a high quality of life for chimpanzees and is just as good as a sanctuary so they should live out their lives in labs.. He said “I think of chimpanzees in the same way that I think of a library. There are many books in the library that will never be used this year or next year. Many of them might never be used again. But we don't know which ones will be needed tomorrow, next year or the year after." Scientists here claim “invasive” research usually is just a needle prick or a blood draw. But, under questioning, a scientist admits that 5 chimps here have died in the last decade during research. Then, we went to the national chimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana—known as CHIMP HAVEN—to contrast the life for retired lab chimpanzees there to that in the lab and show that some retired chimpanzees still haven’t recovered from their life of confinement and experimentation. The stories featured primatologist Jane Goodall and included compelling footage of chimps she helped release from a lab in Austria when they finally were free to go outside for the first time. She argues that these creatures are so intelligent that all invasive research is torture and that, given their age and medical problems, Ken and Rosie, in particular deserve to be retired.
  • Cracking the Codes

    Cracking the Codes documented how thousands of medical professionals have steadily billed Medicare for more complex and costly health care over the past decade – adding $11 billion or more to their fees – despite little evidence elderly patients required more treatment. The series also uncovered a broad range of costly billing errors and abuses that have plagued Medicare for years – from confusion over how to pick proper payment codes to apparent overcharges in medical offices and hospital emergency rooms. The findings strongly suggest these problems, known as “upcoding,” are worsening amid lax federal oversight and the government-sponsored switch from paper to electronic medical records.
  • "Electronic Health Records: Will They Be Safer and Save Money?"

    In this yearlong, multimedia project, reporters Schulte and Schwartz investigated the shift of paper medical records to electronic records. The report drew attention to the "challenges officials are facing in computerizing" the records. Some of the challenges include concerns of privacy and patient well-being.