The state Health Department hit Coney island Hospital with six violations for a botched treatment that lead to the death of a 47-year-old grandmother earlier this year, the Daily News reports.
The hospital came under scrutiny after the death of Grisel Soto on February 1, who had been brought into the hospital screaming, holding her head and unable to speak the night before. A nurse reportedly mistook Soto’s symptoms to mean she was having a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana. Hospital staff allegedly injected her with a tranquilizer and restrained her for hours. However, it’s believed Soto was actually suffering from meningitis. She went into cardiac arrest five times and was dead the next morning.
State investigators cited Coney Island Hospital for violating the federal code of patient rights, according to a document obtained by the Daily News. The citations are related to the use of restraints, emergency services, and emergency services policies.
The Daily News reports the Medical Examiners is still awaiting test results before issuing an official cause of death.
Soto’s family has expressed outrage about her treatment called for investigators to look into Coney Island Hospital.
“They tortured that woman,” her husband, Jorge Matos, told the Daily News. “They tied her up like an animal. I’m from Puerto Rico and I see how they tie up pigs and kill them and that’s the picture I give you.”
Since the incident scandalized the hospital, several top-officials have been removed from their posts. The hospital’s medical director and its acting executive director are moving to other leadership positions within New York Health and Hospitals, the organization that runs the embattled facility. The hospital’s chief nursing officer is also retiring.
New York Health and Hospitals has denied the leadership changes have anything to do with Soto’s death.
In a statement about the Health Department violations, spokesperson Ian Michaels said: “We aim to provide excellent, safe care to all our patients. A comprehensive and detailed plan has been implemented to address the State’s concerns.”
Michaels could not comment further because of pending litigation and patient privacy laws.