Thursday, June 5, 2008

Feds Say Georgia State Mental Hospital's Problems Caused Preventable Deaths

Had been up since about 3:30am this morning just smoking along checking out the latest leads coming into my inbox along with siphoning out pertinent advocacy/self-advocacy related posts when I slammed wide open into the eternal brick wall that is Georgia's intolerable mental health care crisis:

It's already over at if you're interested in helping bump it.. Because of the article's nature, it isn't the kind of story people might otherwise promote on average:

Because I'm going to post an open letter in a few seconds, the following are just a sampling of what was reported.......

In a blistering 65-page letter to Gov. Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Justice Department detailed "critically deficient" conditions at Georgia Regional Hospital/Atlanta. Investigators have inspected two other state hospitals, finding comparable problems, and plan to visit another next week.

Continually failing to address hospital fatalities and violence, the letter said, caused similar deaths to multiply and left patients vulnerable to sexual assaults and other attacks.

Citation #2.....

Federal investigators, the letter said, found that medical and nursing care substantially depart from generally accepted professional standards. They also determined that the hospital provides inadequate psychiatric treatment; uses seclusion and restraint, including sedatives, inappropriately; and fails to adequately protect its patients from harm.

Citation #3.....

We were already working on many of these [problems], Gwen Skinner, head of the state's mental health division, said Wednesday. Georgia Regional has increased its nursing staff, as well as the number of hours of patient treatment, she said. A commission appointed by Perdue to study the state's mental health system issued a report Wednesday documenting problems in hospital care, community psychiatric services and state funding.

And lastly.....

By tolerating a chronic shortage of nurses, the letter said, Georgia Regional routinely compromises patient care. The adolescent unit is highly dangerous, the letter said, quoting one staff member as saying patients would be safer outside the hospital and another who described continuing clinical chaos.

Like I said, just a couple of snippets, but they are snapshots of what has been repeated in some likeness and kind that as yet go unheeded over the last few years..

Having done as much of their own part as humanly possible over the last few years, these Fingertips simply do not understand what else, how many more destroyed Lives it's going to take before Change breaks upon the Horizon.......

United In Advocacy..

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