2008_07_neglect.jpgAfter a surveillance video showed hospital staff ignoring a psychiatric patient's last dying hours in the emergency room of Kings County Hospital, city health officials say they will make a series of changes, like checking on patients every 15 minutes.

When asked what he thought of the video, Mayor Bloomberg said, "Horrified is much too nice a word. Disgusted, I think, is a better word." The patient, 49-year-old Esmin Green, had been waiting in the ER for almost 24 hours before falling to the ground and writhing. Though staffers, including two security guards and a doctor, saw her on the floor, they did nothing.

Six staffers have been fired, including the guards and doctor. After Green died, hospital records claimed she had fine during other checks, suggesting a cover-up. (See the NYCLU's description of what happens on the video compared to the hospital "records" after the jump.)

NYC's Health and Hospitals Corporation also settled a previous lawsuit from the NYCLU and other parties which claimed Kings County of horrible conditions. NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman said, "That it took somebody keeling over and dying, and it being captured on videotape, for the city to come to the table in a meaningful way is unconscionable."

Green was described as having a nervous breakdown; her pastor said she was the sole supporter of her six children in Jamaica by working as a housekeeper and day-care worker here. Per the Daily News, the city says it will pay for Green's funeral expenses.

Above is video and below is about an hour of the NYCLU's log of the video; the bolded parts the hospital's records:

5:32:03 X seated on chair in CPEP waiting room
5:32.35 X begins to lean left
5:32:43 X rolls off chair and falls to floor on arms/knees face down between benches
5:32:43-
5:32:57 X writhing on floor on hands/knees
5:32:57 X prone face down on floor still between benches
5:32:58- no sign of any KCHC staff, X periodically writhing, patients milling in and out 5:52:58 of CPEP waiting room, apparently disregarding X
5:52:58- CPEP security guard walks to entry point of waiting room and looks at X from 5:53.16 across room, no movement by X
5:53:17 CPEP security guard walks away
6 AB 62 indicates “awake, up and about, went to bathroom”
6:02:41 more writhing movement by X
6:03:32 X tries to roll onto right side, perhaps attempt to get up
6:04:13 X rolls partially onto back under bank of chairs, self-soiling visible on front of hospital gown
6:04:14- X rolling back onto stomach/face down, writhing back and forth, legs kicking 6:07:45 upwards, ongoing sporadic movements
6:07:45 X stops moving
6:10:04- CPEP security guard rolls himself on desk chair to look into waiting area/looks at 6:10:43 X, then rolls away
6:20 AB 62 indicates “sitting quietly in waiting room. BP 100/70 P – 100 R – 18 FSL 230 sg/dl” – no sign of this on tape
6:33:20 gentleman carrying folder walks into waiting space, looks at X, turns and walks 6:33:24 away
You can read more about the NYCLU's lawsuit against Kings--aka "Killer"--County Hospital here.