Twenty-four hours of hell in one of New York’s top hospitals have been laid bare with pictures showing patients lying in hallways, urine soaking the floor and staff incapable of providing answers.
A woman who asked not to be named told DailyMail.com that she rushed her mother to the 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 CAT scan carried out within 10 minutes. But then a nightmarish day for the cancer sufferer and her daughter began as they were left waiting in the ER ward in limbo, desperate to find out what was wrong.
‘Every corner was filled with people,’ she said, describing trash littering the floor, urine pots used by male patients kicked over and homeless people seeking treatment but totally ignored by staff.
It comes amid patient backlogs and staffing shortages after the pandemic that have stretched New York hospitals to breaking point and sparked strikes by nurses.
Video from the chaotic ward showed an elderly woman complaining after being wheeled out of the room she was being treated in and into the hallway. ‘I wanna be in a room not in a hallway, I was in a room just now,’ she yells at hospital staff. ‘You want me to get critical? Because I’ll get critical real quick. How ’bout that?’ Off-camera, the woman than started hurling bottles of water in her anger.
The woman was furious after being wheeled out of a room and into the hallway of the overcrowded ER
A male patient wearing an open-backed robe and nothing but a pair of boxers for decency stands as he talks to a member of staff at the ER
One orderly was even seen watching a soccer match on the computer, apparently oblivious to the patients’ suffering in the detritus filled the ward
Thousands of nurses quit the profession when Covid-19 forced them into working grueling hours while being exposed to the deadly disease.
In addition to the lack of staff, many elderly and vulnerable people avoided doctors and surgeries during the pandemic creating a patient backlog as ailments, many of them deadly, have gone undiagnosed and untreated.
More than 7,000 nurses went on strike in January over work and pay conditions.
The New York Nurses Association reached an agreement with Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center after a four-day walkout.
However, the system remains under massive strain.
Video taken by the woman on March 8 from Mount Sinai’s chaotic ER ward showed an elderly woman complaining after being wheeled out of the room she was being treated in and into a hallway.
‘I wanna be in a room not in a hallway, I was in a room just now,’ she yells at hospital staff. ‘You want me to get critical? Because I’ll get critical real quick. How ’bout that?’
Off-camera, the woman than started hurling bottles of water in anger.
Photos from the ward showed nurses chatting and using their iPhones despite the unfolding chaos around them.
One orderly was even seen watching a soccer match on the computer, apparently oblivious to the patients’ suffering in the detritus filled the ward.
Pans of urine and vomit were left lying for anyone on the overcrowded ward to knock over at any moment.
The woman said that nobody ever offered 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 around chatting and engrossed in their phones amid the chaos
The litter-strewn floor of the hospital which was filled with patients on the morning of March 8
Urine is seen smeared across the floor as pots were set down by patients and kicked over in the hustle and bustle
Urine is seen smeared across the floor (left and right) as pots were set down by patients and kicked over in the hustle and bustle
When she asked a staff member if it was always like this, she was told that it had been this way for the last two years.
On that morning, she had gone to pick her mother up from her home in upstate New York and found her ‘disorientated.’
‘She couldn’t even get her seatbelt on in the car – this is a high functioning individual who goes to work,’ she said.
Her mother, who is also a cancer patient at Mount Sinai’s oncology department, last month had valve replacement surgery but is otherwise fit and active.
The concerned 39-year-old called staff at Mount Sinai who suggested she drive her to their emergency department on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
They arrived at 9.30am and she received a CAT scan within 10 minutes which ruled out a stroke.
The daughter said that her mother, who has comprehensive health insurance, had received first rate treatment when they thought her life was at risk but after this the patient care became ‘disgusting.’
Nurses and doctors on the overcrowded 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 results of blood tests.
The nurses strike outside Mount Sinai in New York City on January 9
Protesting nurses on the picket line outside Mount Sinai on January 9
‘Everyone kicks the can down the road, until their shift ends,’ the married mother-of-one said, ‘And then when the new ones come on the ward they said they don’t know what’s going on.’
They were left in a corridor for four hours before being moved into a crowded ward with only curtains for privacy.
She added: ‘There was another woman crying her eyes out. She was like, ‘I’ve been here for 15 hours either help me or let me go home.’ She was genuinely sobbing, it was really sad.’
The woman was eventually told that her mother would get a room, so she headed back to Westchester to look after her own nine-year-old daughter.
But when she called her mother this morning she was horrified to hear that she was still lying in the open ward surrounded by filth.
‘When I left I was told she was now getting a room and guess what, they lied. She’s still sitting there,’ she said.
The woman was finally discharged at 2pm the next day – more than 27 hours after she first arrived at Mount Sinai.
Doctors did not manage to discover what caused her to become confused and disorientated.
Mount Sinai declined to comment.