Safety

Prisoner escapes in hospitals a problem, reports IHSS

Hospital Safety Insider, September 22, 2011

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A new study funded by the International Healthcare Security & Safety (IHSS) Foundation has found that there were 99 documented escapes and attempted escapes by forensic patients at hospitals between April 1, 2010 and April 1, 2011.

The figure is probably low, says lead researcher Victoria Mikow-Porto, MD. “These incidents are seriously under-reported,” she said in an IHSS press release, noting that hospitals are afraid of reporting events for fear of being sued. Of the 99 reported incidents, 32 prisoners escaped from the emergency department, 21 from rest rooms, 41 from clinical treatment areas, and five from the hospital entrance or parking lot.

With more than 2.3 million people in prison and budgetary restraints on correctional facilities tightening, more and more prisoners are brought to healthcare facilities for medical treatment, according to the report.



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