Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital Cited After Patient Dies Under Restraint

December 27, 2017

The patient became combative and was held down by two security guards while a physician and a nurse applied the restraints.
A hospital in central Pennsylvania has been cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health after a patient died while being placed in restraints.
An investigation into Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital’s handling of a restrained patient indicated staff failed to “protect the patient’s safety during restraint application” on September 26, reports Penn Live.
According to the health department’s investigative report, the patient became agitated and belligerent and attempted to exit the hospital, pushing through staff members.
Two security guards then held the patient down on a bed while a physician and a nurse applied restraints. The unidentified patient’s body went limp, their face turned blue and they began foaming at the mouth, according to the report.
The hospital staff declared a code blue, used to label a patient in cardiac arrest. The patient later died from what the hospital called a “diffuse anoxic brain injury,” which is typically caused by severe head trauma, according to The Sentinel.
The department says some of the restraints that were used did not have a required order from a doctor.
Another violation included failure to report the death to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority within a week of the incident. The hospital also did not notify the patient’s family of the event, says the report.
The hospital submitted a plan of correction but the first version was rejected by the state.
The second plan was approved and includes educating staff about the use of restraints and the establishment of a “code grey team” to be trained in handling a combative patient who does not have a weapon. The report did not give elaborate details on the hospital’s plan to institute the team.

While we would prefer not to restrain patients, at times such measures are indicated for the safety of all involved. We are saddened whenever a patient passes away, and are confident that the care our team provided was consistent with Geisinger Holy Spirit’s mission of delivering professional and compassionate care to all,” says Lori Moran, director of corporate communications at Geisinger Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit has a locked mental health unit and specializes in mental health crisis situations.

About the Author

Amy Rock, Web Editor
Amy Rock is the Campus Safety Web Editor.

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