Hidden camera catches nurses' shocking response to dying man's calls for help

Harrowing footage has revealed the moment carers appeared to laugh and smile while a dying elderly man called for help at a nursing home.

The newly released clip shows the patient James Dempsey, 89, in urgent need of assistance lying in his bed at the Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Centre in Georgia, US.

The elderly patient called out for help as he struggled for air. Source: 11Alive

"Help me, I can't breathe," Mr Dempsey can be heard screaming before three nurses attend his calls.

Despite Mr Dempsey's pleas for help, the women can be seen and heard laughing among themselves.

The nurses can be heard laughing as Mr Dempsey struggles in his bed. Source: 11Alive

About two hours after his initial call for help, the nurses are then seen administering CPR for several minutes before paramedics arrive, who were unable to revive Mr Dempsey.

The footage was captured after Mr Dempsey's family installed the camera as a precaution and believed his death was down to natural causes until watching back the footage.

The owners of the nursing home fought to keep the video secret but the extended clip has since come to light in an ongoing lawsuit over Mr Dempsey's death, First Coast News reported.

Previous footage released in 2015 shows the carers failing to respond to several calls from the patient before telling him to "calm down."

His son, Tim Dempsey, filed the lawsuit against the facility, which is owned by one of the largest nursing home operators in the country, Atlanta-based Sava Senior care.

“The biggest problem to me is the attempt to cover it up,”the Dempsey family's lawyer, Michael Prieto, told WSBTV Atlanta in 2015.

“If they made a mistake then a person of integrity stands up and says I made mistake and you deal with the consequences that certainly hasn’t happened in this case."

The video has since led nursing staff to change their story of how they responded to the February 2014 incident.