Eleanor Slater Hospital workers must retrain after patient swallows razor


The patient then told a nurse that they had just swallowed the head of a razor. They had been allowed to remove the razor before entering the bathroom, according to a note from the Rhode Island Department of Health.

The patient, who had just been admitted to Eleanor Slater in August 2021, after they could not be kept safe in a group home, where they had been admitted by court order. The patient, who was not identified by name or gender, was taken to Rhode Island hospital, where the razor was removed.

Patient safety observation checks were changed from “every 5 minutes to every 15 minutes” exactly two weeks before the incident, after the patient spent a month at Eleanor Slater uninjured.

According to documents obtained by The Globe, a nurse told investigators the patient had “gained the ability to use the razor” unattended for hygiene purposes. But when the nurse was asked about the ties found around the patient’s neck, the nurse said the patient may have gotten the gown on an outside visit for a doctor’s visit and hid it in the dark. his return. The medical consultation took place after a previous incident of self-harm.

Although searches of patients and searches of rooms are hospital policy, and a nurse told investigators that they took place, there was no document proving the patient was search.

On Wednesday, the hospital submitted a corrective action plan, which must be approved by the state health department. The plan describes how it will re-educate all staff on the searches when all patients enter and re-enter the Benton Building, which is a wing of the hospital that was recently upgraded to become a safer environment for psychiatric patients. Hospital management agreed that every search should be documented.

The plan also called for monthly audits of patient searches and related documentation, submitted to the hospital’s management team. The nurse manager will also need to ensure that the policy and procedures are reviewed and documented in staff training records and reviewed during their performance reviews. “Progressive discipline” will be used in situations where there is “willful non-compliance”, according to the hospital’s corrective action plan.

The patient who was found on the bathroom floor will no longer be allowed to have a razor in the future, which will be permanently documented in their patient record.

The incident is one of many patient injuries that have raised questions at the public hospital. In August, a patient partially removed their own eye with a spoon. In September, a staff member was put on leave for “attacking” a psychiatric patient on the ground, resulting in a medical episode.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on twitter @alexagagosz. Brian Amaral can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @ bamaral44.


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