Maine psych hospital cited over patient death

Health officials cited Westbrook, Maine-based Spring Harbor Hospital for failing to ensure a safe environment after a patient death occurred at the psychiatric hospital in June, Bangor Daily News reported Nov. 9.

The individual died of a self-inflicted wound after obtaining a knife from the hospital's kitchen, which is restricted to patients. State inspectors conducted an on-site investigation after the patient's death and learned that a different patient had accessed the kitchen through an unlocked door in February, though staff did not fill out an incident report for the breach. 

State investigators said the hospital failed to evaluate kitchen security after the first incident to ensure patients could not access the restricted area.  

The hospital, owned by Portland-based MaineHealth, has since installed locks on its kitchen doors and hired a safety consultant to identify other areas for improvement.

"We recognize these steps do not mitigate the tragic nature of this event and its impact on the family and friends of this patient as well as on our care team members," MaineHealth spokesperson Nadine Grosso told Bangor Daily News. "The safety of our patients and our care team is, and has always been, of the utmost importance at Spring Harbor Hospital."

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