Patient dies after being left unattended for more than an hour in hospital’s ER waiting room

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YORK, Pa. (WPMT)- Officials have confirmed the death of an ER patient at WellSpan York Hospital in August after the person was left unattended in the waiting room for more than an hour.

The hospital was found to be non-compliant with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Rules and Regulations for Hospitals during an unannounced onsite monitoring visit by the Department of Health.

According to the report by the Department of Health, the patient was brought into the emergency room at 9:59 a.m. on Aug. 16 with nausea and dizziness.

Video from the hospital showed EMS personnel speaking with the pivot nurse but the patient wasn't taken to the pivot nurse's desk, nor was the nurse seen speaking or examining the patient, the report claims.

From around 11:09 a.m. until 12:20 p.m., there was no movement seen from the patient, according to the report.

The report also states that the patient's status was updated to "left without being seen" at 12:05 p.m. after failing to respond to their name being called three times.

The patient was pronounced dead at 1:31 p.m. after he was found unresponsive in the ER waiting room and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

In a statement from WellSpan York Hospital's Vice President of Medical Affairs, Allan Birenberg M.D., he wrote:

“This was a rare event that occurred in our emergency department at WellSpan York Hospital. We take seriously our commitment to provide safe, timely, compassionate care to everyone who walks through our doors. In this instance, we did not meet the high standards to which we hold ourselves every day. We have reviewed what happened and taken immediate steps to correct any issues which contributed to this event.  We are committed to doing our very best, every day, for every patient, and we will continue to work hard to make sure that happens. To that end, we continue to redesign our processes to ensure access to high-quality, timely care for all.”

You can read the full Department of Health report here.

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