Raleigh Mental Hospital Abusively Restrained Patients

Posted on Dec 15, 2008
In a second mental hospital patient abuse scandal this winter, Butner Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, has been accused of restraining patients face-down for extended periods of time, an act considered physical abuse by local and federal authorities.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the state mental hospital shows internal records that violate safe and proper rules of patient care. This evidence has caused the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to launch an extensive and thorough investigation into the mental hospital and their practices in the coming weeks and months.

In the records, a 24-year-old man was strapped face-down in a bed for more than an hour. Strapping patients face-down goes against all nursing training since it is a suffocation risk. It is not clear as to why this took place.

During the incident, the man struggled against having his blood drawn and tested, resisted the nurses, and then made threats against the staff of Central Regional Hospital. Five technicians, under the direction of one nurse, restrained his arms in legs with straps.

Some are claiming that the face-down position is a punishment that causes fear and panic, especially in the mentally ill.

In addition to the face-down position, the patient was also left restrained for more than an hour, despite the fact that he calmed down, ceased aggressive activity, and began to cooperate.

Central Regional Hospital opened just last year after an older facility closed in the wake of an assault of a mentally ill patient by three staff members and a citing by federal regulators. Another hospital, Dix, is also closing with the hopes of transferring all patients to Butner. This plan is now suspended in light of recent events.

Dix has also had several abuse incidents. All three recent incidents point to system-wide issues with patient abuse and neglect across North Carolina. If someone you care about has beent he victim of patient abuse, schedule a free case evaluation with one of our injury attorneys.