|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2008
Incident at Kings County Hospital
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation today reported a serious incident surrounding the death of a patient at Kings County Hospital Center Psychiatric Emergency Department on June 19th to a number of health oversight agencies and law enforcement authorities. While the case is under further review, HHC President Alan D. Aviles directed the suspension or termination of six hospital employees, including staff involved with the direct care of the patient as well as managers of security and clinical services.
The case involves a 49 year-old woman who was brought to the Psychiatric ED at Kings County Hospital by EMS on the morning of June 18th suffering from agitation and psychosis. The patient refused medical review and was involuntarily admitted. The patient was in the Psychiatric ED waiting for a bed in the inpatient unit to become available. Early in the morning on June 19th, she was found unresponsive on the floor of the Psychiatric ED.
A preliminary review conducted by Kings County Hospital and HHC staff has determined the patient fell from a chair on to the floor while in the Psychiatric ED and remained there for an hour before she received medical attention.
"We are all shocked and distressed by this situation. What our investigation so far determined violates the basic principles of the compassionate healthcare practiced every day here at Kings County and across our public hospital system," said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. "We express our deep regrets to the patient's family and will ensure a thorough investigation to answer any questions that remain."