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Officials Examine Nurse's Actions After Patient Dies In ER Waiting Room

ITHACA, N.Y. (CBS) -- Authorities are investigating the death of a man who was waiting in a hospital emergency room. The situation took place at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, New York.

According to hospital officials, the man was found sleeping on the floor of a convenience store in January. Crews brought him to the hospital and he was found in the waiting room, dead, two hours later.

A report in the Ithaca Journal says that hospital officials began investigating the death the following day, reviewing footage and questioning staff and other patients.

According to the report, a nurse was responsible for performing triage on patients in the emergency room, but did not examine the man and falsified records.

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"Through the investigation, it became apparent the nurse falsified her triage documentation," Cayuga Medical Center Vice President of Medical Affairs David Evelyn told the Ithaca Journal. "She did not ask him those questions, she did not take those vital signs that she had put into the records, so she had falsified the records. On the tape, we can see (the patient) was looking around for a certain part of time he was there, but eventually, he just looks like he's sitting there. People in the room said it appeared he was asleep."

Official says the nurse was a contracted travel nurse and that her contract was terminated.

The man and the nurse have not been identified.

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