NEW YORK – Staffers at a Brooklyn hospital falsified medical records and lied to authorities in an attempt to cover up the neglect of a patient who died on the waiting room floor, according to city investigators.
The report by New York's Department of Investigation was released Friday exactly one year after the death of Jamaican immigrant Esmin Green.
Green, 49, had been languishing in a psychiatric emergency room floor for nearly 24 hours when she collapsed from a blood clot.
Six hospital employees lost their jobs in the incident, but the probe by the city's main investigative agency raises the possibility that some could also face criminal charges.
The report said that after Green died, a senior nurse at the hospital made three false entries in her medical records to make it appear as though she had been checking up regularly on her patient.
In actuality, the report said, Green had been ignored — a fact confirmed by security camera footage of her collapse and slow death.
The nurse subsequently admitted she fabricated entries in Green's progress notes because she was afraid of losing her job, but lied about the nature of the inaccuracies.
Separately, a nursing aide made entries in a hospital journal falsely indicating that she had observed Green asleep during the hour when she was actually lying face down and dying on the floor, the report said.
A lawyer for Green's family said her relatives also hoped the report might lead to a criminal prosecution.
A spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said the office was reviewing the report but declined to comment further. No criminal charges have been filed so far.
The city, which owns and operates the hospital, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Green's family for $2 million.