State health officials have claimed that a quartet of New York City hospitals were guilty of 19 instances of safety or security lapses, resulting in “immediate jeopardy” for patients.
Among the alleged lapses, according to the New York Post: unsatisfactory infection control, a failure to check out allegations of sexual-abuse, and “sending home a suicidal patient to his death.”
The hospitals identified include New York-Presbyterian, The Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat division of Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital. The alleged miscues were uncovered between January 2015 and January 2018 during inspections.
According to The Post, two patients at The Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat division of Lenox Hill Hospital died after minor surgeries. “One patient, identified in court papers as Norine Starr, suffered a heart-rate drop in an October 2016 cataract operation, during which investigators found she was not properly monitored and needed CPR because she had no pulse. DOH records show a 15-minute gap between the time Starr’s heart rate crashed to zero until resuscitation began. The surgeon said she didn’t know the patient’s vital signs were changing and didn’t hear any warning alarms go off, records show.”
Mount Sinai Hospital was reportedly cited for failing to properly investigate the claims of two women who, according to The Post, “said they were sexually abused by ER Dr. David Newman, who eventually pleaded guilty to attacking four patients and is serving two years in prison. Police busted Newman in January 2016 after a woman said the doctor drugged her in the ER and then pleasured himself.”
State investigators found that two Mount Sinai staffers were notified of one abuse incident on Sept. 28, 2015, and that the “allegation was not investigated at the time of the alleged occurrence,” The Post reported. “The state lifted the immediate jeopardy declaration within hours when the hospital showed it had educated its staff. It fined Mount Sinai $2,000.”
Lincoln Hospital, a trauma center in the Bronx that is run by New York City, allegedly discharged a 25-year-old man, Kareem Cooley, in August 2016 who had been admitted after trying to leap off of a building. Cooley later killed himself.
“The hospital staff failed to do a suicide risk evaluation and check a city-wide hospital database, which would have shown he had previously been hospitalized at Bellevue after jumping in front of a train, records show,” said The Post.
At New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, state inspectors reportedly found doctors and nurses in the pediatric operating rooms at the Washington Heights, Manhattan hospital in December 2015 who “had hair sticking out of surgical garb and an anesthesiologist who adjusted an airway hose attached to a patient without using gloves, all potential infection risks,” said The Post.
The newspaper quoted hospital-safety advocate Betsy McCaughey as saying, “It concerns me that every day in hospitals all across the city and everywhere it’s the norm now to see a disregard for precautions that used to be adhered to. Hospital infections are one of the biggest killers in the United States.”
By: Edmund Clay