VA patient's psych unit escape spurs DC hospital to review policies

A Veterans Affairs hospital in Washington, D.C., is reviewing policies and procedures after a patient escaped from a locked psychiatric unit May 5, reports NBC4 Washington.

The 29-year-old patient, whose name was not released, climbed through ceiling tiles above a bathroom shower on the facility's third floor. He exited the hospital through the emergency department, asking a staff member to call him a cab, according to an internal VA report cited by NBC4 Washington.

The man then traveled to Virginia, where police say he assaulted a female relative. Police arrested the patient May 6 on charges of abduction and domestic assault and battery. The patient's family claims they called the hospital twice to warn staff members about the escape, but said employees refused to check on the patient's room. 

"The Washington DC VAMC is conducting a review of its policies and procedures to see if changes are warranted," the hospital said in a statement to NBC4 Washington. "We cannot comment further due to patient privacy laws."

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