Staff at NC mental accused of leaving patient to die

Nurses at Goldsboro, NC-based Cherry Hospital have been cited for leaving a patient sitting in a chair for more than 22 hours without feeding him or helping him get to the bathroom. Federal officials say that the death of 50-year-old Steven Sabock at the facility is part of why they may decertify the psychiatric hospital for federal funding. Sabock, most of whose ordeal was recorded on video, sat in the hospital's busy day room through four work shifts. During that period, he ate virtually nothing, according to an investigative report. Also, investigators found no evidence that the nurses had evaluated his nutritional status. Despite the severity of this event, the hospital may be able to keep its federal income if it files an improvement plan that addresses these and other problems.

Other than the fact that the patient had been admitted, this incident bears an uncomfortable similarity to the death of a patient in a New York city psychiatric facility. As in this case, the staff at Kings County Hospital had largely ignored patient Esmin Green for a considerable period, approximately 24 hours.

To learn more about this incident:
- read this McClatchy/Chicago Tribune report

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