Families' Plea: A Hospital's Decision Brings Heartbreak
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Picture of Uncovered Wound an Hour after Release Picture of the Wound 15 Hours After Release Penn Medicine Princeton Health Letters to Members of the Board of Trustees
When Discharge Becomes a Controversial Decision, Heartbreak Ensues

PHILADELPHIA - OhioPen -- In a troubling incident on March 9, 2023, a patient suffering from severe psychosis was released from the UPenn Medicine Princeton Medical Center just hours after being admitted, leading to a series of events that have raised serious concerns about patient care and hospital protocol.

According to reports, the patient, who had escaped from family supervision, was discovered at a Princeton hotel and subsequently taken to the hospital by Princeton Police. Despite the severity of her condition, she was discharged at midnight, less than 12 hours after her admission, without receiving treatment for her psychosis. The hospital later contended that it had been unable to reach any family members. However, the patient's father presented AT&T phone records showing multiple calls between his number and the hospital prior to the release, contradicting the hospital's claims.

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Further complicating matters, the father stated that he did speak with a doctor over the phone, sensing hesitation from the doctor about releasing the patient. It appears a managerial decision ultimately led to the patient being discharged. Despite the hospital's claim that the patient was released at her own request, the father asserts he had talked to his daughter, who had agreed to remain hospitalized.

The day following her release, New York police forcibly admitted the patient to Bellevue Hospital in New York City, after which she was transferred to McLean Hospital for psychiatric care, where she remained for over four months. This extended treatment underscores the severity of her initial condition.

The family has criticized the Princeton Medical Center for not transferring the patient to a specialized psychiatric facility as requested. Moreover, the patient allegedly escaped from the hospital shortly after being discharged and sustained an injury in the ambulance unloading area, which was reportedly not adequately treated by the hospital staff.

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Adding to the controversy, the father's correspondence with the hospital highlighted that the Princeton Police had been under the impression that the hospital had a psychiatric division equipped to handle such cases. The family also raised concerns that the untreated wound was a strategy by the hospital to avoid liability.

The family has since urged the hospital to establish a better cooperation with local police for handling patients in severe psychosis and to improve their referral system to psychiatric facilities. As of now, the hospital has not responded to these requests. Moreover, it has come to light that the hospital may have violated New Jersey law, which prohibits patient discharge after 9 PM, by releasing the patient at midnight.

This case has opened a dialogue about the protocols for psychiatric care and patient discharge, spotlighting the need for thorough evaluations and adherence to legal standards to ensure patient safety.

Penn Medicine Princeton Health Patients Speak

Penn Medicine Princeton Health Patients Speak!

Source: Penn Medicine Princeton Health Patients Speak!
Filed Under: Business

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