By now you've probably heard about the disturbing security video from New York's Kings County hospital. It shows a patient -- who's already been waiting for 24 hours in the psychiatric E.R. -- collapses and falls to the floor. She lies there for over an hour while hospital staff did nothing to help. She died soon after.
Eerily enough, a remarkably similar incident has come to light Los Angeles. The LA Times has acquired a tape of a May 2007 incident in which a woman "writhed for 45 minutes on the floor of the emergency room lobby atMartin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital as staffers walked past and ajanitor mopped around her. Her boyfriend called 911 from a pay phoneoutside the hospital, pleading futilely for help."
In both cases, the grim tapes have led to changes. The New York Times reports that the state will step up monitoring the hospital, which has been criticized many times in the past for substandard care.
In Los Angeles, where the incident (but not the videotape itself) was highly publicized last year, the effects have been even great, according to the LA Times:
Los Angeles County is still grappling with the legal and medicalconsequences of the King-Harbor incident. It helped precipitate thelong-troubled public hospital's closure last year and spawned threelawsuits, all pending. Efforts to reopen the hospital have so farfaltered.
You can view both videos if you want below:
From New York's Kings County Hospital Center. June 19, 2008.
From Los Angeles County's Martin Luther King, Jr.-Harbor Hospital. May 9, 2007.