JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Navy Surgeon General has reacted to the disturbing videos involving two hospital corpsmen and newborns, calling the incident "highly offensive." On Wednesday, he mandated that all Naval hospitals, including the Naval Hospital Jacksonville, prohibit the use of cell phones from patient care areas until further notice.
Vice Adm. Forrest Faison also mandated training for all Naval hospitals worldwide over the next 48 hours.
His message, at the very least, was one of disappointment and disbelief. Many are outraged, calling for the two corpsmen involved to make a public apology.
Meryl Vogel, now former Navy, watched the video out of Naval Station Norfolk where her husband, who is still active duty Navy, is stationed.
“I’m a mother and if anyone ever did that to my child it would be a problem,” Vogel said. “We are moving to Jacksonville sometime next year.”
She follows Jacksonville's Navy social media pages to see what their soon-to-be home is like. She said she does not think any less of Jacksonville following the incident and still believes it’s a strong Navy town.
“I feel for that family that they now have the deal with this,” Vogel said. “I’m pretty sure that whatever care we receive at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, will be better now than it was before because of this incident.”
Medical Malpractice Attorney Sean Cronin doesn’t feel so confident. He has brought dozens of lawsuits against Naval Hospital Jacksonville over the years.
“This is neglect and abuse going on from employees at the facility,” he said.
He believes the hospital should enact nurse supervision over CNAs and add 24/7 surveillance in wards dealing with infants.
“I think central monitor cameras that focus on the nursery would be a great idea," he said. "Many hospitals here in town have cameras set up to monitor patients for fall risk, well the same thing could be done in a nursery, it would be only for internal monitoring and for safety.”
He said he disagrees with the Navy Surgeon General over removing cell phones out of the patient wards.
“If these sailors didn’t have phones and didn’t post this, we would have had no idea this kind of conduct was allowed to take place at the hospital," he said.
He said now they are investigating to see if any more videos or photos have been posted in the past. He believes the two women will faces criminal charges for their actions.
“This is well beyond the commanding officer,” Cronin said. “This hospital is under a microscope.”
After scolding the actions of the women involved, the Faison went on to praise the reporting of the video and directed more from his commanding officers, saying:
“I have directed all commanding officers to personally contact current mothers and expectant mothers planning to deliver in one of our facilities to reassure them, inform them of our actions, and address any of their concerns. I applaud the individuals who took a stand when they witnessed this inappropriate behavior online.”