Twenty four hours of hell in one of the best hospitals in New York have been exposed with images showing patients lying in the corridors, urine soaking the floor and staff unable to provide answers.
A woman who asked not to be named told DailyMail.com that she took her mother to Mount Sinai Hospital on Madison Avenue on March 8 because she suspected the 67-year-old was having a stroke.
This was ruled out by a CT scan performed within 10 minutes. But then a nightmarish day began for the cancer patient and her daughter, as they were left waiting in the ER in limbo, desperate to find out what was wrong.
“Every corner was full of people,” he said, describing rubbish strewn across the floor, urine containers used by kicked-over male patients and homeless people seeking treatment but completely ignored by staff.
It comes amid a backlog of patients and staff shortages following the pandemic that has pushed New York hospitals to the brink and sparked strikes by nurses.
Video from the chaotic ward showed an elderly woman complaining after she was led out of the room where she was being treated and into the hallway. “I want to be in a room, not a hallway, I was in a room a moment ago,” she yells at the hospital staff. Do you want me to be critical? Because I will get critical very quickly. What about that? Off camera, the woman who started throwing water bottles in anger at her.
The woman was furious after being led out of a room and into a crowded ER hallway.
A male patient wearing an open-backed gown and nothing more than a pair of briefs for decency stands while talking to an ER staff member.
An orderly was even seen watching a soccer game on the computer, apparently oblivious to the suffering of patients in the debris that littered the ward.
Thousands of nurses have left the profession when covid-19 forced them to work grueling hours while being exposed to the deadly disease.
In addition to understaffing, many elderly and vulnerable people have avoided doctors and surgeries during the pandemic, leading to a backlog of patients as ailments, many of them fatal, go undiagnosed and untreated.
More than 7,000 nurses went on strike in January over pay and working conditions.
The New York Nurses Association reached an agreement with Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center after a four-day strike.
However, the system remains under massive pressure.
Video taken by the woman on March 8 from the chaotic Mount Sinai emergency room showed an elderly woman complaining after being led out of the room where she was being treated and into a hallway.
“I want to be in a room, not a hallway, I was in a room a moment ago,” he yells at the hospital staff. Do you want me to be critical? Because I will get critical very quickly. What about that?
Off camera, the woman who started throwing water bottles in anger.
Photos from the room showed the nurses chatting and using their iPhones despite the chaos unfolding around them.
An orderly was even seen watching a soccer match on the computer, apparently oblivious to the suffering of patients amidst the debris littering the ward.
Containers of urine and vomit were left for anyone in the packed room to tip over at any time.
The woman said no one ever offered to ask her mother if she needed help using the bathroom and later that night when she got up to go on her own, she stepped in a puddle of urine.
Nurses are seen standing chatting and engrossed in their phones amid the chaos.
The garbage-strewn floor of the hospital that was full of patients on the morning of March 8.
Urine is seen splattered on the floor as the patients set the pots down and kicked them around in the hustle and bustle.
Urine is seen scattered on the floor (left and right) as patients placed the pots on the floor and kicked them around in the hustle and bustle.
When she asked a staff member if it had always been like this, she was told that it had been like this for the past two years.
That morning, he had gone to pick up his mother at her home in upstate New York and found her “disoriented.”
“He couldn’t even buckle up in the car—this is a high-functioning person going to work,” he said.
Her mother, who is also a cancer patient in Mount Sinai’s oncology department, underwent valve replacement surgery last month, but is otherwise fit and active.
The concerned 39-year-old woman called Mount Sinai staff, who suggested she take her to their emergency department on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
They arrived at 9:30 am and did a CT scan within 10 minutes that ruled out a stroke.
The daughter said her mother, who has comprehensive health insurance, had been treated first when they thought her life was at risk but after that the patient care became ‘disgusting’.
The nurses and doctors in the packed ward were unable to answer questions about what was wrong with her mother or provide a timeline for when they would hear back about the blood test results.
Nurses strike outside Mount Sinai in New York City on January 9.
Nurses protesting on the picket line outside Mount Sinai on January 9
“They all kick the can down the road, until their shift is over,” said the married mother-of-one, “and then when the new ones come into the room, they say they don’t know what’s going on.”
They were left in a corridor for four hours before being moved into a crowded room with only curtains for privacy.
She added: ‘There was another woman crying her eyes out. She said, ‘I’ve been here for 15 hours, help me or let me go home.’ She was really crying, she was very sad.
Eventually, the woman was told her mother would get a room, so she returned to Westchester to care for her own nine-year-old daughter.
But when she called her mother this morning, she was horrified to learn that she was still lying in the open living room, surrounded by filth.
“When I left they told me that now I was going to get a room and guess what, they lied. She’s still sitting there,’ she said.
The woman was finally released at 2 p.m. the next day, more than 27 hours after she first arrived at Mount Sinai.
The doctors failed to discover what confused and disoriented her.
Mount Sinai declined to comment.