Twenty-four hours of hell in one of New York’s top hospitals has been exposed with photos of patients lying in hallways, floors soaked in urine, and staff unable to provide answers.
A woman who asked not to be named told DailyMail.com that she rushed 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 CAT scan performed within 10 minutes. But then a nightmarish day dawned for the cancer patient and her daughter as they waited in limbo in the ER, desperate to find out what was wrong.
“Every corner was filled with people,” she said, describing how rubbish littered the floor, overturned urine pots used by male patients, and homeless people seeking treatment but being totally ignored by staff.
It comes amid patient backlogs and staff shortages following the pandemic that has pushed New York hospitals to their limits and sparked nurse strikes.
Video from the chaotic ward showed an elderly woman complaining after being wheeled out of the room where she was being treated and into the hallway. “I want to be in a room, not a corridor, I was just in a room,” she yells at the hospital staff. ‘Do you want me to be critical? Because I will become critical very quickly. What’s up with that?’ Off camera, the woman began throwing bottles of water in her anger.
The woman was furious after she was wheeled out of a room and into the corridor of the overcrowded ER
A male patient wearing an open-back bathrobe and nothing but boxer shorts stands for decency as he talks to an ER worker
One nurse was even seen watching a football game on the computer, apparently oblivious to the suffering of the patients in the rubbish that filled the ward
Thousands of nurses quit the profession as Covid-19 forced them to work grueling hours while exposed to the deadly disease.
In addition to the lack of staff, many elderly and frail people avoided doctors and surgeries during the pandemic, creating a patient backlog as ailments, many of which are fatal, have gone undiagnosed and untreated.
More than 7,000 nurses went on strike in January over working and wage 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 enormous pressure.
A video taken by the woman on March 8 from the chaotic ER at Mount Sinai showed an elderly woman complaining after she was wheeled out of the treatment room and into a hallway.
“I want to be in a room, not a corridor, I was just in a room,” she yells at the hospital staff. ‘Do you want me to be critical? Because I will become critical very quickly. What’s up with that?’
Off camera, the woman began furiously throwing bottles of water.
Photos from the ward showed nurses chatting and using their iPhones despite the unfolding chaos around them.
One nurse even watched a football game on the computer, apparently oblivious to the suffering of the patients in the waste that filled the ward.
Pans of urine and vomit were left lying around so that anyone in the overcrowded ward could knock over at any moment.
The woman said no one had 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 stand amidst the chaos, chatting and engrossed in their phones
The litter-strewn floor of the hospital that was filled with patients on the morning of March 8
Urine is seen smeared on the floor as pots were set down by patients and kicked over in the crowds
Urine is seen smeared on the floor (left and right) as pots were put down by patients and kicked over in the crowd
When she asked an employee if it had always been like this, she was told it had been like this for two years.
That morning, she had gone to pick up her mother from her home in upstate New York and found her “disoriented.”
“She couldn’t even put her seatbelt on in the car — this is a high-functioning person going to work,” she said.
Her mother, who is also a cancer patient in Mount Sinai’s oncology ward, had valve replacement surgery last month but is otherwise fit and active.
The concerned 39-year-old called Mount Sinai staff, who suggested taking her to their emergency department in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
They arrived at 9:30am and she had a CAT scan within 10 minutes which ruled out a stroke.
The daughter said her mother, who has comprehensive health insurance, received first-class treatment when they believed her life was in danger, but the patient care became “disgusting” after that.
Nurses and doctors on the overcrowded ward were unable to answer questions about what was wrong with her mother or give a timeline for when they would hear the results of blood tests.
The nurses struck outside Mount Sinai in New York City on January 9
Protesting nurses on the picket line outside Mount Sinai on Jan. 9
“Everyone kicks the can on the road until their shift ends,” the married mother of one said, “and when the newbies came to the ward, they said they didn’t know what was going on.”
They were left in a corridor for four hours before being transferred to an overcrowded 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, help me or let me go home.” She was sobbing sincerely, it was really sad.’
The woman was eventually told her mother would be given a room, so she went back 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 ward, surrounded by filth.
“When I left I was told she got a room now and guess what, they lied. She’s still there,’ she said.
The woman was finally discharged at 2 p.m. the next day — more than 27 hours after she first arrived at Mount Sinai.
Doctors failed to discover what caused her to become confused and disoriented.
Mount Sinai declined to comment.