SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- An investigation continues into a medical emergency at MGM Springfield that led to the death of one of their patrons.
Out of full disclosure, the man who died was the uncle of one of our Western Mass News employees.
Tonight, we’re focusing on a now-deleted Facebook post about the emergency that criticizes MGM's security guards for not letting bystanders help the man while he was in medical distress.
We spoke with the post's author, who claims at least one trained medical professional was barred from helping the man by casino guards.
Now, the casino is responding, saying their guards did everything they could to help the man.
"They waited for I can't even tell you how long. They waited, but it took a long time before they turned around and checked his pulse," said that witness, who didn't want to appear on-camera.
The witness to Saturday's medical emergency in MGM Springfield said it took more than 15 minutes for anyone to render aid to the man, who later died in Baystate Medical Center.
"They finally started they turned him over, they were going to do CPR on him...took another 20 minutes before state police showed up," the witness explained.
MGM Springfield spokesperson Saverio Mancini told Western Mass News said security guards sprang into action right away, saying "Within minutes, our security officers stepped in to help the guest and called for additional assistance from the Gaming Enforcement Unit, which includes officers from the Springfield Police Department and MA State Police. At the same time, an ambulance was called. The ambulance arrived within minutes from the initial call."
The witness we spoke with said that their biggest concern was that security guards told bystanders to remain as such.
"People went over to help and they were told to get away. The people were willing to help, I'm certified in CPR. There's a doctor there that was told he couldn't even work on him. I mean their policy has to change," the witness added.
Mancini said he did not know if any well-intentioned bystanders were turned away from helping the man, but said the casino does not have any written policies barring guests from helping those in medical distress.
Massachusetts General Law does protect those who attempt to give medical aid from any liability resulting from their efforts to help.
We also reached out to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for a statement on where they stand in this investigation. We have not yet heard back.