Safety

Hospital window is partially implicated in a patient’s death

Hospital Safety Insider, February 25, 2009

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A hospital in Indiana is reconfiguring its patient bedroom windows to no longer fully open after a patient jumped out of one to her death.
 
The patient, who was on pain-fighting drugs that gave her hallucinations and paranoia, died soon after she fell onto a roof at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, IN, on February 15, reported the Evansville Courier & Press.
 
The hospital expected to have the window retrofits done by this week.
 
Because of the victim’s altered mental state, her bed was equipped with an alarm that went off when she left the bed.
 
Shortly before the incident in question, the bed alarm sounded, and a staff member checked on the patient. The patient was using a bedside commode and requested privacy, so the employee left, a hospital spokesperson told the Courier & Press. Shortly after, the patient opened the window of her sixth-floor room and jumped out.



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