The night of his death, 30-year-old John Verrier walked into the Emergency Room at St. Barnabas Hospital’s in New York City around 10 p.m. It was a Sunday night and he had complained to the hospital staff about a rash during his admission. His vitals and basic information were taken and he was sent to the waiting area of the emergency room at the Bronx hospital. Little is known about what happened over the next several hours. It has only been officially reported that his death occurred sometime during that eight hour wait that he endured in the ER.
At 6:40 on Monday morning, Verrier was found dead in a chair in the ER waiting room. A worker from St. Barnabas Hospital claims that the man was cold, blue, and stiff. The unidentified hospital worker believes that the man had been dead for some time before anyone noticed.
The St. Barnabas Hospital worker, who has not identified himself out of fear of losing his job, says the hospital simply does not have the staff to take care of the number of patients that they see on a typical day.
A spokesperson for St. Barnabas Hospital says that Verrier was shown by emergency room video surveillance records to be alive and moving around the room at 3:45 a.m., which was nearly six hours after he had come to the hospital.
Whether St. Barnabas considers the eight hour wait to be excessive given the nature of an emergency room remains unclear. John Verrier’s unfortunate and mysterious death has largely gone unnoted by local NYC officials.
Verrier’s death is just another causality of the often overtaxed emergency waiting rooms. On January 7, it was revealed that a man had died during a 34 hour wait in the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre’s hospital waiting room in Manitoba, Canada.
At the Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, a woman died after a 24 hour wait. In that case, the surveillance footage showed a near empty waiting room. She had lied dead on the floor while three different members of the hospital staff glanced over at her. One of the security guards was even noted to have rolled his chair over to her to investigate before he rolled back away. Her body was finally removed after another patient complained to staff.
Action News recently took a look into wait times at local hospital emergency rooms around Jacksonville, Florida and found that many patients were waiting well beyond the state’s reported average wait time of 26 minutes. Patients at UF Health Jacksonville’s emergency room waited an average of 78 minutes before they were seen by a doctor. There were also an additional ten percent of emergency room patients at UF Health who simply left before they ever saw a doctor.
Some hospitals, however, have seen recent improvements. At Orange Park Medical Center in Florida, Spokesman Adam Landau noted the center’s impressive 20-minute waiting period. He credits recent techonological upgrades to the Orange Park Medical Center such as register in advance online or by mobile phone.
By Nicci Mende
Action News JAX