NewsCovering Kern County


Family looking for answers after sudden death in local hospital

Posted at 12:50 AM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 19:20:08-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.  — A Bakersfield family is grieving after a loved one went to get treated for a cold, but ended up dying at a local hospital on Friday.

The family alleged Bakersfield Memorial Hospital gave 51-year-old, Bryant Deon Burgess, too much pain medication. According to the family he was given 23 different types of medication, including Fentanyl.

Audra Burgess said she was told her son was being taken back for a CT scan. She says that was the last time she saw him alive.
The family said they waited for him to come out of the CT scan, and began asking hospital staff when they could see him. A little while later officials told the family they were doing a procedure on Burgess.

According to the family, they waited more than two hours and repeatedly asked hospital officials when they could see him.

The family alleged hospital officials told them they tried to revive him multiple times, and that Burgess was given to much pain medication.

Memorial Hospital president and CEO Ken Keller issued a statement saying:

We are saddened by the loss of Mr. Bryant Burgess and our hearts go out to his family and friends during this very difficult time. While there are routinely multiple complex circumstances involved when providing emergency care, clinical leadership from Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and Dignity Health are deeply concerned about this incident. A full review of the care that Mr. Burgess received is underway and we will work closely with State and Federal regulators. We are also working closely with Mr. Burgess’s family to ensure they are supported and informed about his care. While state and federal laws prevent us from discussing specifics of patient care, I assure the community that this matter is being taken extremely seriously and that we will act immediately to make any changes that may be needed based on the findings of our review.
Ken Keller President/CEO – Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

According to the family, hospital officials told them his death is under investigation as a homicide. The hospital has not confirmed that.

Burgess leaves behind three sons and grandchildren.