Accreditation

Teen dies in restraints at Missouri hospital

Accreditation Connection, August 13, 2010

A 16-year-old girl suffocated while in restraints at SSM DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton, MO, STLToday.com reports.

The girl, Alexis Evette Richie, was a patient in the facility's psychiatric ward. She had attempted to bite, hit, and scratch staff members, leading staff to restrain her. Two aides held her arms while a nurse applied a sedative. According to the report, the nurse and aides did not check her pulse or breathing.

A charge nurse found the girl not breathing, and with a faint pulse, soon after. Twelve minutes elapsed from the time the girl stopped moving until attempts were made to revive her.

The medical examiner determined that Alexis died by suffocating on the bean bag chair that had been used while restraining her.

The facility had already been under scrutiny for safety issues; in 2008 a patient with doctor's orders for constant supervision died while in seclusion.

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