Department of Health Services Cites Patton State Hospital in Patient’s Death
The Department of Health Services in January cited Patton State Hospital and issued a $25,000 fine for failing to prevent the death last June of a patient who had a heart attack after being restrained by at least five staff members, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. The patient was diagnosed as severely bipolar with psychotic features and personality disorder and had a history of physical assault. On the morning of his death, the patient was restrained on the floor after throwing a chair at an employee. Then, he told the staff members he could not breathe, stopped resisting them and turned blue, according to the Press-Enterprise. The citation faults the facility for "failure to recognize signs and symptoms of respiratory distress" while the patient was being restrained. The citation -- the most severe issued by DHS -- is given only when patients die because of nursing home violations. The $25,000 fine is the minimum penalty for such a citation, which can carry a fine of up to $100,000. During the last 10 years, Patton has received about a dozen citations for violations ranging from failing to assess resident care to not recognizing medical conditions that resulted in death (McGavin, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.