BRONX — A 30-year-old man died in the emergency room of St. Barnabas hospital last weekend while waiting eight hours to be seen.
John Verrier was found dead in a waiting room chair by a security guard shortly before 7 a.m. last Sunday morning, ABC reported. According to ABC, Verrier had entered the emergency room around 10 p.m. on January 18 to have a rash looked at.
A hospital employee who spoke to ABC anonymously said that Verrier had likely been dead for a while before he was discovered. No hospital spokesperson returned calls on Sunday.
"He was found stiff, blue and cold," the employee told ABC. “There's no policy in place to check the waiting room to see if people waiting to be seen are still there or still alive."
Steve Clark, a spokesman for the hospital, told the NY Post that Verrier had been checked on several times during his eight-hour wait. The hospital also claims the patient’s name was called multiple times when doctors were ready to see him, but that he did not respond. According to Clark, Verrier can be seen alive and moving in the E.R. after his name was called.
According to data from ProPublica, patients at St. Barnabas hospital spend an average of just over five hours in the emergency room before being sent home, which is nearly two times the New York average. New York hospitals’ wait and transfer times are also well above the national average.
A recent emergency room report card, created by the American College of Emergency Physicians to evaluate the quality of and accessibility of emergency rooms, gave New York a C.