Nurses at North Carolina's state mental hospital in Goldsboro walked past a patient sitting in a chair for more than 22 hours without giving him food or helping him to the bathroom before he died, according to an investigative report released Monday.
The hospital's treatment of Steven H. Sabock, 50, who was found lifeless after a day without food, was recorded by the hospital's security video. Sabock choked on his medicine April 28 while a nurse stood by without helping him. Health care technicians, according to the report, are seen on the recording watching television through the night, playing cards, and talking on a cell phone while they were in the room with Sabock. He died of a heart problem on April 29.
According to the investigators' report, Sabock sat in a busy part of the hospital, called the day room, through four work shifts.
When technicians could not get Sabock to walk back to his bed after his time sitting, they stood him up, pushed a chair under him and slid Sabock down the hall toward his bedroom. The video showed a cart of emergency equipment being pushed down the hall about five minutes later.
Sabock's father, Nicholas, said in an interview Monday that he went to visit his son at Cherry Hospital soon after he was admitted. He said hospital staff turned him away without letting him see his son.
"They said he was lying down and didn't feel like talking," said Sabock, who lives in Virginia. "They wouldn't let me see him. I think he died that day."
Sabock's wife, Susan, said in a separate interview that she received a letter from the state saying "they found major negligence in his care." Sabock's wife, who also lives in Virginia, said she talked to a lawyer about the matter.
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