Surveillance footage from a hospital shows a woman falling from a chair, writhing on the floor, and, finally, dying, as workers fail to react for over an hour. Esmin Green, 49, waited in the emergency room for almost 24 hours until she fell face down on the floor from the chair she was sitting in. She fell at 5:32 a.m., by 6:35 a.m., when a medical staff member who was flagged down by another person in the waiting room nudged Green’s body with her foot, she was dead. Until that staffer was summoned, Green hardly drew any attention. Patients sitting nearby did not react at all, security guards and a hospital staff member seemed to have noticed her body a minimum of three times, but, from the video, it does not appear that any of them attempted to aid her. In fact, one security guard could not even be bothered to leave his chair, instead, he rolled it around the corner, stared at her body, then rolled it back. Green had been involuntarily committed the day before the incident and was still waiting for a bed when she fell; her body stopped moving approximately half an hour after she fell. Reportedly six people have been fired because of the incident, amongst those let go are security personnel and staff members.
This is not the first issue with the hospital’s mental health unit, which was sued last year by the state’s Mental Hygiene Legal Service and Civil Liberties Union, who called the unit “a chamber of filth, decay, indifference and danger.” The lawsuit further states that patients who complained too much were occasionally handcuffed, beaten, or injected with psychotropic drugs. The parties in that suit went before a judge on Tuesday where the hospital agreed to institute reforms, including checking on patients in the waiting room every 15 minutes. Additionally, the hospital will make attempts to shorten the average waiting time to 10 hours within the next four months.
Adding to the shocking situation is the fact that Green’s medical records appear to have been altered or falsely filled out in an attempt to cover up the incident. For example, there is a note for 6 a.m. that claims she was “awake, up and about” and another 20 minutes later claiming she was sitting in the waiting room and that her blood pressure was normal, in actuality, Green was either dead or writhing on the floor during those times.