Man dies in ER waiting room at Cayuga Medical; one staffer fired as investigation unfolds

Cayuga Medical Center, provided.

One nurse at Cayuga Medical Center has had her contract terminated and the hospital is reviewing it’s practices after a patient died in the emergency room waiting area on January 19th.

The 52-year-old, who was originally found unresponsive at a convenience store in Ithaca, was transported to the hospital after police and Bangs Ambulance arrived at the scene.

When he was brought to the hospital, he was triaged at level 4. The hospital uses a five level system to assess urgency. Level 1 patients are the most-urgent cases, while level 5 cases are least urgent, according to the hospital’s system.

The Ithaca Voice reports that the following then took place after he arrived at the emergency room:

“The patient can be seen in surveillance videos being wheeled into the waiting area around 6:10 or 6:11 p.m. He would have been in a private area — which is not under video surveillance — with the now-fired nurse for about three minutes. During that time an eyewitness said the nurse did not check the man’s vital signs. She also does not check his vital signs in the emergency room or take him to the private triage area again, the video allegedly shows.”

Around 8:23 pm when the nurse attempted to bring him into the examination area again — he didn’t have a pulse. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

The nurse was a travel nurse, according to The Voice, who noted that the investigation launched afterward resulted in her being fired.

That nurse allegedly failed to note the patients vitals, which the hospital identified as standard practice with any emergency room case.

Read more on the investigation and how the hospital has responded from the Ithaca Voice

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