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July 16, 2008

Esmin Green dies on New York Hospital floor – Terribly Negligent

A woman died of deep vein thrombosis in an emergency room of Kings County Hospital in New York City. The woman sat in the waiting room for 24 hours before she fell to the floor, convulsed and died. Esmin Green was involuntarily admitted to the hospital and she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. On June 18th she was admitted to the hospital for what was described as agitation and psychosis.

After 24 hours Esmin Green fell to the floor, it took hospital employees an hour to even acknowledge that Green was on the floor. And what type of acknowledgement did the employee give Esmin? Well, the employee went over to her and nudged her with her foot. Then, and only then was help called in for Esmin.

This hospital has been the subject of other lawsuits and charges. The conditions at Kings County Hospital have been reported to be disgusting and the treatment of patients have been mistreated there. To add insult to injury, the hospital is accused of tampering with the records regarding Esmin’s terrible fate. The New York City Health and Hospital Corporation says that the hospital records were changed to show that Esmin was only in the waiting room for a little over 10 minutes before she convulsed and 48 minutes before she slid to the floor.

The autopsy reports say that she died pf pulmonary thromboemboli which can be treated if caught soon enough. This form of blood clots is aggravated by lack of movement which is exactly what Esmin would have been doing sitting in the waiting room for 24 hours. Thank goodness for surveillance cameras. What if those had not been in place? Esmin Green’s death due to neglect would not be an issue. Her death certificate would be signed and she would be out in the ground with no chance of justice.

Seven hospital employees have been fired or suspended but surely there must be more. These people should have criminal charges brought against them. How can anyone in the medical field be so negligent? Esmin’s relatives are planning on filing a 25 million dollar lawsuit against the hospital.

Some of the other conditions that patients are said to have faced are sleeping on urine and feces covered floors while they wait for beds. Some patients have to sleep in plastic chairs and the general overall hygiene of the hospital is poor. Patients that complain are said to be injected with drugs to keep them calm and manageable. What is this place? Some 1880’s insane asylum?

In the United States, a country where health care is not affordable for many people and hospital workers make great salaries, this is unacceptable. How can thus type of treatment be justified when so much money goes into the health care system? I know that a hospital in New York is going to be crowded all of the time but we have to be more humane than this. Humans deserve more than this no matter what ailments they have.

Mental illness still carries with it an unfair stigma. Was Esmin not treated better because she had schizophrenia? Maybe. Or is the hospital just negligent on all levels? Sounds like it. The thing that is very scary is that if Esmin Green’s case was one that was captured on video. What happens when the camera is off in the actual hospital rooms?

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