Las Vegas hospital under investigation amid patient abuse allegations

Nevada health officials are investigating care conditions at Las Vegas-based North Vista Hospital three months after a Las Vegas Review-Journal report cited numerous allegations of physical abuse in the hospital's psychiatric ward, the Review-Journal reports.

Six things to know:

1. The state is investigating two complaints regarding the "the physical environment, care of patients and maintenance of records," Chrystal Main, a spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, told the Review-Journal. The agency received the complaints May 22 and June 7.

"Both investigations are still in progress at this time," Ms. Main said. State officials did not release the complaints, citing the ongoing investigation.

2. The complaints are connected to abuse of mentally ill patients, one hospital worker told the Review-Journal anonymously. The worker said Darnell Bumpus, an amateur MMA fighter who works as a mental health technician at North Vista Hospital, beat patients and almost killed one of them.

"Darnell choked a patient out, and we had to give him a code blue," the worker said. "After the incident, the employees got together and made sure the report said what they wanted it to say."

3. In March, the Review-Journal reported that Mr. Bumpus was accused of tackling a patient who was having an anxiety attack, putting him into a headlock and sedating him. Mr. Bumpus declined to comment to the Review-Journal June 29 and referred questions to the hospital.

4. Another patient, David McCovy, said psychiatric ward employees slammed him to the ground and punched him, leaving him with a black eye and scratches. He said he now suffers from neck pain and vision problems. But it's Mr. McCovy who is facing misdemeanor charges after hospital staff claimed he attacked them.

Mr. McCovy was admitted to North Vista in November 2017 for a panic attack. He told the Review-Journal he's grateful that the state has launched an investigation into hospital patient conditions.

The report also said one patient killed himself after the hospital released him within hours of being admitted for suicidal tendencies, and another patient, a bipolar suicidal woman, died after the hospital released her to a stranger who put her in an unregulated group home.

5. Hospital spokesperson Susan Olson defended Mr. Bumpus in March and said no one had filed complaints against him. "North Vista Hospital considers patient safety a top priority," Ms. Olson said June 28.

6. Nevada Health Care Quality and Compliance is investigating the complaints, officials said.

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