Hospital cited after patient dies under restraint

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 21, 2017 5:01 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A midstate hospital was cited by the state Department of Health for restraining a patient who later died under its care.

The health department issued its citation against Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital saying it "failed to protect the patient's safety," reported Thursday.

The hospital located just outside of Harrisburg was caring for the unnamed patient Sept. 26 when he or she became unnerved and tried to leave, according to the health department. Holy Spirit has expertise in handling mental health crises.

Security guards held the patient down and hospital staff began applying restraints. The health department said the patient then became limp, started turning blue and foamed at the mouth.

The hospital said the patient died from a "diffuse anoxic brain injury." This injury usually occurs after severe head trauma that would happen after a car accident or a fall.

Outside of violations connected to the hospital's use of restraints, the health department also cited the hospital for not reporting the event to the state Patient Safety Authority and the patient's family.

Holy Spirit issued a statement saying they are saddened about the death of the patient, but they believe the team provided professional and compassionate care.

"While we prefer not to restrain patients, at times such measures are indicated for the safety of all involved," the hospital said.

State officials approved a plan of correction from the hospital that includes educating staff on restraints and creating a "code grey team." The report did not elaborate on the team.

Tagged under , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »