Safety

Tip of the week: Be familiar with policies for expectant prisoner patients

Hospital Safety Insider, July 30, 2008

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A recent incident in Tennessee may prompt you to review policies for prisoner patients who are pregnant.
 
Earlier this month at Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, an illegal immigrant who was in custody for an alleged driving violation was shackled to a hospital bed while waiting to give birth, the Associated Press reported.
 
The restraints were removed two hours before birth and re-attached six hours after, and a sheriff’s department officer was present throughout the birth.
 
The woman’s attorney is deciding whether to sue the county sheriff’s department for unnecessary and harsh treatment. A sheriff’s spokesperson disputed that sentiment, telling the Associated Press, “If she had escaped from the hospital, that would have been the story.”
 
Consider how your facility deals with expectant prisoner patients, what steps local law enforcement takes to guard these patients, and whether you can defend your policy to the public.



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