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California hospital dumped dementia patient outside locked assisted-living center, family says

The daughter of an 84-year-old woman with dementia filed a complaint against Long Beach, Calif.-based College Medical Center, claiming the hospital placed her mother in a cab and dropped her off outside of a locked assisted-living facility around 2 a.m. on Jan. 13, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Four things to know:

1. Surveillance video obtained by the Press-Telegram shows Savina Genoese Zerbi clad in a bathrobe and slippers, banging on the door of the Regency Palms assisted-living facility in Long Beach for about 25 minutes. It is not known how or when she got back into the facility.

2. Ms. Zerbi's daughter, Costanza Genoese Zerbi, said her mother was admitted to College Medical Center Jan. 12 after threatening suicide. She filed a complaint against the hospital with the California Department of Public Health.

"I want to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else," she told the Press-Telegram. "At the end of the day she may look a grown-up, but she has the same ability as a toddler to take care of herself. It's stunning the hospital would not deliver her to a responsible person."

3. The health department declined to comment on Ms. Zerbi's specific case, but confirmed there is an ongoing investigation into the hospital, according to the Press-Telegram.

4. College Medical Center said it fully complies with regulations pertaining to discharge planning and transportation in a statement emailed to Becker's Hospital Review. The hospital noted Ms. Zerbi insisted on taking public transportation to her place of residence and said it notified both Ms. Zerbi's family and the receiving facility of her discharge in a proper and timely manner.

"College Medical Center cares very much about the well-being of its patients and is concerned any time a patient has an unsatisfactory experience," the hospital said in the statement. "Without admitting any wrongdoing, College Medical Center will be meeting with the patient's family to discuss this matter in further detail."

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