Safety

Patient wanders to a hospital roof and dies outside

Hospital Safety Insider, December 9, 2008

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The family of a dementia patient is wondering why the woman got out of her room at a Pittsburgh hospital, opened a door onto the roof, and then died outside in 25-degree weather, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
 
On the evening of December 2, the patient left her room on the 12th floor at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Montefiore. She was reported missing, and a maintenance worker found her body on the roof the next morning.
 
Hospital officials are reviewing policies in light of the incident, a spokesperson said in a statement to the Tribune-Review.
 
An attorney for the family told the newspaper that healthcare workers allegedly failed to properly monitor the patient, even though she had wandered out of her room earlier that day.
 
Pittsburgh police are investigating whether an alarm on a fire escape door didn’t go off when the patient pushed it to get onto the roof, the Tribune-Review reported.



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