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Records show 50 patients at 15 hospitals in New York were improperly restrained since 2015

At least 50 patients at 15 different hospitals in New York were improperly restrained since 2015, according to hospital inspection reports obtained through public records requests.

Among those hospitals are Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, according to the USA Today Network.

Many inspection reports obtained by USA Today were heavily redacted and lacked specifics. In nearly half of the 15 hospitals reported on, key incident details and use of restraint were not listed in the patient’s medical records.


Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester

In April 2018, investigators found hospital security staff had been using law enforcement techniques to subdue patients in 20 of 20 cases reviewed. These techniques included the use of metal handcuffs, batons, body strikes, and pepper gel.

Hospital policy allowed health care workers to call security staff, including armed peace officers in some instances, to handle patients posing a danger to themselves or others.

One incident in May 2017 involved a patient who verbally threatened staff and refused medication. Security staff were called and used pepper gel as well as knee strikes and batons on the patient. The patient was handcuffed and put in four-point restraints.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse

In 2017, investigators found 24 of 34 hospital security officers and security staff didn’t undergo required first aid and CPR training related to restraint and seclusion practices.

An investigation also noted one violation where a physician assistant ordered a patient to be placed in a vest restraint for 24 hours without proper documentation that the patient’s attending physician was notified. Hospital policy incorrectly stated notifying the attending physician of use of restraint was not required.



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