Action Follows Patient's Death At Cherry Hospital

State officials are disciplining a Goldsboro mental hospital's staff and closing one of the facility's wards following the death of a patient who was left unattended for 22 hours.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dempsey Benton is discussing measures Cherry Hospital officials have taken following the death of Steven Sabock. The 50-year-old patient was left in a chair more than 22 hours and choked on medication.

Department spokesman Tom Lawrence said staff members who were involved in Sabock's death have been disciplined and one has resigned.

Lawrence said the hospital also is closing down the ward where Sabock died and reducing the number of beds until the staff demonstrates better performance.

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  • by LD Location: NC on Aug 23, 2008 at 05:08 PM
    Your right Andy if they cant perform their jobs get rid of them but don't shut down the ward!!
  • by RN on Aug 23, 2008 at 05:13 AM
    I don't care what the nurse:patient ratio was....that not ONE RN noticed this patient was in distress for 22 hours is unacceptable. Quit making excuses....all the staff were at fault and should NOT be allowed to continue to practice.
  • by Andy Location: Williamston on Aug 22, 2008 at 08:20 PM
    I dont understand how "closing down the ward where Sabock died and reducing the number of beds until the staff demonstrates better performance" helps the situation. If an employee cant perform their job, then get rid of them. Thats plain and simple. Closing down only hurts the patients who need care.
  • by Dave Location: Greenville on Aug 22, 2008 at 03:38 PM
    Who would have ever thought that the Cherry staff would be more incompetent than the patients?
  • by Anonymous on Aug 22, 2008 at 03:09 PM
    1:24, RN to patient ratio is a lot of the problem. The RN responsible is for 24 patients and supervising 5 or more HCTs and 1 LPN. RNs really depend on the HCTs doing there job and reporting any problems. When there is a problem with a HCT and you report it, often the supervisor will side with them, not to cause a conflict (the HCTs have a real nack for intimidating RNs and supervisors alike). Haven't you heard "the HCTs at Cherry run Hospital" This should never happen, the RNs should be backed up. Everyone became too comforable with lack of supervision, from the ward RNs, to the building supervisors, nurse managers and administration itself.
  • by tod Location: 7 springs on Aug 22, 2008 at 02:09 PM
    viewers please keep in mind that media is using term nurse loosely, these wards only had 1- 1.5 nurses for 20 plus patients. Not saying that other disciplines dont contribute big time all are important, but the headlines make it look like the nurses sat around goofing off when I doubt the nurse had time to pee all shift. Many studies have shown that death rates go up in near direct proportion to RN ratios going down when hospitals try to save a buck. Now they will do a quick fix and soon when the media spotlight dims it will go back to the way it was before. Staff who try to point out problems are silenced one way or another and conditions continue to be not good enough. Patients, staff and tax payers ( well we all pay taxes) deserve better
  • by Anonymous on Aug 22, 2008 at 01:52 PM
    At least they will have less people to endanger for a while.
  • by me Location: NC on Aug 22, 2008 at 01:09 PM
    The staff must not be too overwhelmed with work if they are able to sit and watch TV and play cards while a patient sits and dies. I actually felt sorry for the staff there until I read about this. I know there are some very hard-working and dedicated employees there, but it looks like they need to re-evaluate their staff.
  • by wendy Location: goldsboro on Aug 22, 2008 at 11:18 AM
    This just makes me sick.I think they all should be fired and charged in this man's death.This was very much intentional.Being left unattended for 22 hours is unacceptable.I can't believe some staff members were only disciplined,and just let the other resign.I don't think this will be the last of this sad situation.Hopefully charges will be brought against these so-called staff members.
  • by pathetic Location: goldsboro on Aug 22, 2008 at 11:09 AM
    closing a ward and moving the patients around, moving deck chairs on the Titanic. The same staff: patient ratios will exist. Staff have been trying to expose these problems, it's a ashame anyone had to die under such circumstances.No money to hire staff to get the ridiculous low nurse: patient ratios up, but money for trips to Africa and oil portraits

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