May 31, 2011
A Dallas, Texas, hospital is being investigated following the deaths of two patients who were admitted to the psychiatric ward of the facility. The nonprofit, Chicago-based Joint Commission, the nation’s leading authority on patient safety in hospitals, is heading up the inquiry against Parkland Memorial Hospital.
The commission, according to the Dallas Morning News, is looking into the circumstances that caused the death of a psychiatric patient locked in solitary confinement, and another psychiatric patient who fled from the hospital and was hit by a car in traffic.
The commission just closed a case with Parkland where a third psychiatric patient died of a heart attack shortly after being released with no medical examination in February 2010.
A case of a botched surgery leading to an amputation is also under an open investigation with the commission.
Dr. Al Herzog a Connecticut psychiatrist and former chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s patient safety committee feels steps should be taken to ensure that a patient’s wellbeing is monitored closely. He was quoted as saying, “To have three deaths in that time frame, you want to take a close look and make sure you’re taking really good measures to protect patients.”
Parkland Memorial spokespeople declined comment siting patient confidentiality rules.
Did the hospital fail to provide proper monitoring of patients in their care?