Volume 80, Number 28 | December 9 - 15, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

A huge quantity of hospital supplies are up for bidding, including sphygmomanometers on stands, left, and reloadable vascular linear staples, right.

Reminiscent of R2-D2 of “Star Wars,” these viewing stations are among the many items up for sale during the St. Vincent’s auction.

Auction is bidder
end for historic
Village hospital

By Lincoln Anderson

From bedpans to X-ray machines — everything must go!

Sphygmomanometers, reloadable vascular staplers, cryo microtomes, fibrinotherms — you name it, they’ve got it.

By order of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, a four-day auction of the entire contents of St. Vincent’s kicked off Tuesday morning at the former Greenwich Village hospital at 12th St. and Seventh Ave. If needed, a fifth day will be added.

The money raised by the sales will go toward helping pay off the shuttered hospital’s whopping $1 billion debt to creditors.

The auction is being conducted — on various floors throughout the hospital, as well as via Web cast — each day from 10 a.m. to about 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.

Day 1 saw lab and surgical equipment on the block. Day 2 featured radiology, cardiology, anesthesia and labor-and-delivery equipment, plus beds and stretchers. The defunct facility’s Day 3 offerings were slated to include the emergency room’s contents, physical therapy equipment and, according to the online brochure, a “FULL WAREHOUSE OF CATHETERS, OR SUPPLIES, SUTURES AND SO MUCH MORE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO LIST!!” Scheduled for bidding on Friday, Day 4, were cafeteria equipment, computers, vehicles — including four, fully equipped Ford ambulances (with 32,000 to 89,000 miles on them) — and the hospital’s backup generator.

It was expected that about 80 to 100 lots of items would be sold per hour, and 1,200 to 1,300 lots per day.

A St. Vincent’s spokesperson said the auction location was not open to the press. She said she couldn’t predict or give a ballpark figure as to how much money the sale of the hospital’s contents would raise.

The medical sell-fest was touted by ads stating, “State-of-the-art 500-bed facility! Equipment as new as 2010!”

But Eileen Dunn, a former longtime St. Vincent’s nurse who is on the board of the New York State Nurses Association, said not to believe the hype.

“That’s all junk — beds that don’t work, I-med [intravenous] pumps that don’t work,” she said. Dunn recalled that during the hospital’s first bankruptcy, the place was so under-equipped that staff members didn’t even have insulin needles during overnight shifts, and would have to go to the drug store to buy them.




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