BROOKLYN - Video from a surveillance camera at a Brooklyn hospital shows a woman dying in convulsions on the floor of a psychiatric emergency room while security guards and staffers appear to ignore her.
The video was released by lawyers suing Kings County Hospital alleging a history of neglect and abuse of mental health patients at the medical facility.
The video shows the 49-year-old woman keeling out of her chair at 5:32 a.m. and lying face down on the floor, then thrashing, before going still. The tape shows two security guards that apparently spotted the woman, but did nothing. An hour passed before a fellow patient got the attention of a staffer.
?The reason this woman died the way she did is because there is a culture of indifference to patients that permeates every aspect of KCCH psychiatric care,? says attorney Rob Cohen.
In addition, lawyers say there is also strong evidence that hospital workers altered the patient?s records to show that she was sitting quietly in the waiting room, not convulsing.
The agency that runs the municipal hospital - the city's Health and Hospitals Corp. - has fired six staffers, including the security guards. The HCC also agreed to implement a series of reforms.
The release of the tape comes a year after mental health advocates first filed a lawsuit against the hospital.