Connecticut hospital cited after patient swallows batteries

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CMS cited Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown for failing to properly monitor a psychiatric patient at risk of self-harm, according to the Hartford Courant.

The patient was taken to Middlesex Hospital, also in Middletown, after swallowing two batteries from a pair of headphones provided by a nurse May 8. He required emergency surgery and a colonoscopy to remove the batteries. The patient had been admitted to Middlesex Hospital five other times since February for other acts of self-harm, undergoing a total of six surgeries. This prompted the Middlesex surgeon who operated on him to file a complaint with the Department of Public Health.

Regulators visited the state-run hospital June 11 and found staff members failed to "adequately supervise" patients or "maintain continuous observations," according to a CMS inspection report emailed to Becker's. CMS placed the hospital on "immediate jeopardy" June 11. That status was lifted June 16.

"The department takes patient care and safety very seriously," the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, which oversees the hospital, said in a statement to Becker's. "In light of a recent finding by [CMS] related to a CMS survey, DMHAS has taken immediate actions to modify necessary treatment to ensure appropriate care is provided to patients at the agency's hospital."

The patient involved in the complaint has since been transferred to a more secure treatment setting. Hospital leaders also retrained employees and increased physician rounding, among other actions, according to the Hartford Courant.

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