A Southern California hospital apologized to women who said they were recorded without their consent by hidden cameras installed in gynecology operating rooms.
The statement from Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa comes after a complaint was brought last week by 81 women, according to Buzz Feed, who said motion-sensing cameras captured video of births, hysterectomies, sterilizations, and other procedures.
From July 17, 2012, to June 30, 2013, roughly 1,800 women were recorded in the three operating rooms at the hospital’s women’s center, the complaint stated.
None of the women were told they were being recorded. The complaint, which was filed in California Supreme Court, stated that women were recorded undressing, and some were unconscious during the course of their procedures.
“We sincerely apologize that our efforts may have caused any distress to the women who were recorded, their families, and others we serve,” Chris Howard, president and CEO of Sharp HealthCare, which manages the San Diego–based hospital, wrote in a letter.
Howard added that the surveillance method is no longer in use, and “changes in [the] protocols to ensure this situation is not repeated” have been put in place.
According to the hospital, the cameras were part of an investigation into missing drugs and equipment from the anesthesia cart of three Women’s Center operating rooms.
The recording devices were intended to record only individuals in front of the anesthesia carts, the letter said, but patients were inadvertently captured.