Patient gets urinated on by other patient

A patient in a nearby hospital wrote the following letter to the editor, eliciting the following response from the hospital. Although patients have a lot of valid complaints, hospitals aren't perfect. In this case, I think this was an unfortunate accident for which the hospital staff is not at fault. Funny comment overheard at work today: "Being urinated on by another patient is almost as bad as waking up to find another patient in your bed." Given a choice, I think I would not choose being urinated on!

Security lost
TO THE EDITOR: Most people believe that when you are in the hospital, when visiting hours are over, you're secure and safe. Or that if you leave a sick loved one there under the care of nurses, that they will be cared for while you go home to rest. Little do you know what is wandering the halls of CVPH.

What happened to me the early morning hours of Monday, March 23, on the seventh floor of CVPH left me humiliated and frightened. I have never felt so violated in all of my life. I was ill and unable to breathe, and had just gone to sleep. The lights were out and my door was ajar like it always was. I was sound asleep, but opened my eyes when I heard a noise. My door was open and a man was standing next to me. He was holding onto my IV pole and he was urinating on me, on the floor, in the air — everywhere.. I screamed and tried to get out of the room.

I found a nurse at the nurse's station and told the personnel what was happening. The nurse immediately identified the man by his name without even needing to check to see who it was. After cleaning my room, the nurses said "well, you can go back to bed now." I couldn't sleep after that. Would you be able to? I came home as soon as I told my doctor what had happened and why I needed to be discharged. They pushed this incident under the rug, but I am so totally disturbed by it.

The hospital is supposed to be a place where patients are safe to rest and recover, but I will never feel safe at CVPH again.


Hospital responds
TO THE EDITOR: We at CVPH Medical Center are extremely sorry and apologetic that the incident of March 23 described in the above letter did occur. It was an indignity that no one should experience, and we apologize profusely. Patient safety and security are at the top of our list of priorities.

We believe that staff on the nursing unit where the incident took place did everything correctly, including having an alarm on the patient who caused the problem. Staffing was appropriate. All regulations and procedures were followed. The truth is that many patients who are hospitalized become confused, particularly elderly patients who may suffer from stages of dementia as well as other clinical health problems. It only takes a few seconds to get out of a hospital bed and walk into the room next door without anyone noticing. That is a fact in any acute-care hospital in the country.

We apologize that such an unfortunate event took place and will try our best to prevent it from happening again. Patient safety is of extreme importance at CVPH.

Stephens Mundy
President and chief executive officer
Cynthia Gardner, RN
Vice president, Patient Care Services

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