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Women dies in ER of New York Psych Hospital


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This is an utterly repulsive and disturbing story.

[link=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/nyregion/02hosp.html?ref=nyregion" target="_blank]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/nyregion...ml?ref=nyregion[/link]

Summary:

A female patient was admitted to the public psych hospital after suffering a "breakdown" (no ref in story as to what exactly that constituted). She was left sitting in the ER waiting room for nearly 24 hrs. Security cameras captured her sliding off her chair, where she lay ignored by security and staff for nearly an hour (one staff member is shown walking in and prodding her with their foot) before an attempt was made to revive her - too late.

Staff falsified records of the period the patient was there, including indicating that she had gotten up to go the bathroom at a time when the security cameras clearly showed her lying on the floor.

Doctors and other staff have been fired and/or suspended over this, but that's too little too late.

**

I read about this in several places and also happened on the actual video of what happened - I watched for about 5 seconds, then was appalled at myself. I don't recommend anyone else does it.

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Disgusting. All she needed was help!! What a bunch of horrible people. I hope they all rot in prison.

I once sat in an ER, told them I was a danger to myself and that it was an emergency, and was told to sign in and sit down.

An hour later, I was still cutting the shit out of my arm, bleeding all over the chair, and no one noticed/gave two shits (or even one for that matter). In a last ditch effort, I called my p-doc, and she asked to speak with the sign-in lady. Upon telling the sign-in bitch this, she rolled her chair back and in an ever-educated manner replied, "I don't talk to no doctors"

Cunt.

I wish they cared about us ;)

If anyone wants to know the name of that hospital, I'll gladly divulge in PM.

This is the same p-doc that told me "medicine doesn't work for depression" and also that I need to "just get over it"

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I wonder what she died of in the end. Something neurological? Drug interactions/overdose? Something completely unrelated to her psych condition?

Even if it's the latter, it makes no difference. I'm sure that this hospital was doing even worse things to other patients, but they'd managed to survive (or the hospital was savvier about covering up malpractice). This lady was so unlucky, though...

And, seriously, the hospital staff were idiots this time. If someone gets brought in by EMS, you can't go around trying to falsify the time of admission. The EMS has their own share of documentation. And then there are your own security cameras.

The sad thing is that I can almost guarantee that not enough people got fired. My guess is that most of the other staff treat the patients like crap, too. (It would be nice, though, if all the bad apples had gotten tossed.)

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The hospital also agreed to reduce typical waiting times to 10 to 13 hours within four months.

Great news! Now patients only have to wait 13 hours instead of 24 for treatment.

(said sarcastically)

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Same here. I guess they decided to ignore her until she went away, and that's what happened. She went totally away from this life. The part that disturbs me the most is when she was lying on the floor and an ER staff member came in and prodded her with her toe, and then walked away.

I'm also sure that patients are treated this way routinely. It's just that this incident was so outrageous that it made the media.

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hi,

i read the story before signing on to cb. miab- thanks for starting this thread!!!

reading this makes me want to scream from the roof-tops...but then i'd get arrested. although it is 4th of july and there will be a lot of noise...

unfortunately ive taken 2 different suicidal people to 2 different hospitals in the past 4 months and there wasnt much difference between the 2. both immediately got "beds" in the er. but both had to wait many hours before anyone with a clue about psychiatry came to assess them. as for meals or food....heh heh....classified as "waiting."

i guess the good part of these 2 people is that they are still alive.

db

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I live in NYC.

There are many crappy hospitals. Some of them have sub par care. It depends what neighborhood you live in. I live in a nice and upscale area and have been to the local hospital. People were excellent to me and it was always very helpful to me.

I am not downplaying this. It is terrible, and horrific what happened to that poor lady. People should get care that is compassionate no matter what hospital they go to.

It just does not work that way.

Sad.

Be very careful when choosing what hospital to go to.

For example, Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn is a dump, while NY Presbyterian is beautiful.

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I told someone I know about this, and he actually defended the hospital just a little bit by saying it was a psychiatric hospital, and they probably figured she just fell asleep on the floor, which probably happens with a lot of psych patients. ;)

Another story that I just heard about was of a woman who came into the emergency room of Martin Luther King Hospital, in CA, I think, and fell out of the wheelchair she was in onto the floor. Apparently, she'd been to the ER a number of times before and was a drug addict, so the staff ignored her complaints of pain from a bowel rupture, and left her on the floor--watching her!!!--for 45 minutes (which is the same as the psych patient in this thread's original story) and she died. The family's suing for $45 million.

Geraldo Rivera said the family is partially to blame, because they enabled her to get to the state she was in. It pissed me off, because while the family may have done so, and that was wrong (however, the drug addict is the primary one responsible), that had nothing to do with this incident. She was in the ER, and should have been treated in a timely manner.

Two people, one family member and one unrelated person who was in the ER at the time, called 911. The unrelated person told the 911 operator what was going on, and he actually snapped at her, saying he couldn't do anything about the quality of the hospital, and 911 was for emergencies only!!! :)

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This is horrible... every ER should have a "triage" system, which assess the risk of patient the second s/he walks in. It is the more understaffed and smaller ERs (even in nicer parts of town) that don't seem to do this.

I have had to visit a very urban, downtown ER in an impoverished area once (this was during my first central nervous system infectious "attack", in 2005), and although I had to wait a few hours for care, I, like all other patients, was immediately seen by a nurse, vitals and history taken, and even sent in for an emergency CT scan (they thought I was having a hemorrhagic stroke at the time). I have a feeling that had this ER seen some woman slicing up her arms, for example, they would have put her under psychiatric ward observation immediately (even if they did make me wait several hours after the CT showed a negative for the stroke!).

One of the main problems in urban ERs, I feel at least, is the volume of victims of inner-city violence (of course, most of these patients are close to death and are very obviously physically traumatized). I'm fairly sure they get sent straight to the ER ward, if not outright the surgical ward. I'm sure an apathetic, jaded staff (this includes residents and doctors, I'd bet) doesn't help, either in delaying treatment to those who are not obviously in any danger (or who are, for that matter).

This is why I don't visit ERs. (My infectious disease doctor got on my case about this a couple months ago when I neglected to go to the ER after developing rigors and a high fever the night after a spinal tap.) Nonetheless, I don't recommend that anybody here avoid the ER (especially in psychiatric emergencies!).

Again, I've also visited the 'nicer', suburban ERs and still have been forced to wait forever. One I visited in Baltimore (due to having another "attack" the next day after I visited the urban ER near work) had a lobby and waiting room that could be mistaken for that of a three-star hotel. I still had to wait 6 hours in there, during which the symptoms partially were fading away, and you can imagine what neurology thought of me at that point.

In the end, I feel it's all about the individual ER's operations and not just the affluence of the community they're situated in.

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Herrfous:

This particular hospital had A LOT of problems in every department - not just the ER. there were many many things wrong. It closed a few months ago. and im fairly certain it was forced to close because of these multiple really bad, horrific, and wrong things happening. (my brain is kind of shut off right now - so i dont remember the specifics).

IMO - if the woman started slicing her wrists - they just would have called a janitor to clean it up. thats how bad that place was.

db

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This is horrible... every ER should have a "triage" system, which assess the risk of patient the second s/he walks in. It is the more understaffed and smaller ERs (even in nicer parts of town) that don't seem to do this.

It sound like this was 100% a psych hospital. I have no idea how I'd go about triaging psych emergencies--but I'm sure that there are algorithms for that. I wonder what's a "reasonable" amount to wait at a psych ER... (I nonetheless suspect that this ER effed up, no matter what kind of ER it was supposed to be.)

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