Hospital employees gawked at, photographed unconscious patient with item lodged in genitals: Report

A “ton” of employees at an Everett, Pennsylvania, hospital busted into an operating room to take video and pictures of a patient with a genital injury, a state investigation uncovered.

According to PennLive, UPMC Bedford Memorial was cited for the egregious incident, which occurred on December 23. The Pennsylvania Department of Health said the patient came to the emergency room and required surgery to remove a “foreign body” from his genital area.

“There were so many people [in the operating room] it looked like a cheerleader-type pyramid,” one witness told state investigators.

The 119-page report, which can be read in full below, indicated that an employee alerted hospital administrators to the circulating videos and pictures in January. The health department started their probe in late May.

According to the health department, an employee said that a doctor requested a photo be taken but the operating room camera was broken so a personal phone was used instead.

“Initially, we thought there was only one picture taken, but later we learned of others. We also had the camera checked out, it is working, it is just too complicated to use,” the report detailed.

The health department also revealed that the hospital suspended one doctor was for seven days, another for 28 days, and terminated their nursing director for surgical services, according to WJAC. Both doctors also underwent training on medical ethics and patient privacy.

In a statement, Patt Keith of UMPC Media Relations said they notified the affected patient and have made administrative changes to prevent similar behavior. He commented:

“UPMC is committed to ensuring that our patients’ health information remains confidential. The behavior reported in this case is abhorrent and violates the mission of UPMC Bedford and the overall values of UPMC. Upon discovery, UPMC quickly self-reported the incident to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and took appropriate disciplinary action with the individuals involved. The Department of Health has approved our plan of correction.”

Keith declined to disclose additional information about the ordeal, citing an ongoing investigation.

[Featured Image: WJAC]