Hospital shootings, arson & vandalism: 9 crazy healthcare stories in 2015

Here are 9 stories of odd things that have happened in healthcare over the past year.

A patient at Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Fla., was forcibly removed from the hospital after seeking care for stomach pain. She was treated and discharged, but refused to leave, insisting on continued care. Police arrested her and charged her with disorderly conduct and trespassing while she was having trouble breathing and asking for an oxygen tank. Her requests went unanswered and she later collapsed as the police escorted her into a squad car. She died hours later from a blood clot in her lung. The investigation into her death in late December is ongoing.

An employee of Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., was found dead in a facility bathroom in October. The employee was injured while at work and left his post cleaning operating rooms on the hospital’s third floor. He went to the emergency room for treatment and nurses tended to him. Afterward, the employee returned to the hospital’s third floor to use the bathroom, where he was found dead a few days later.

In August, two patients were shot on the same day in incidents at hospitals several states away. Ohio-based Marymount Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic facility, and Houston-based St. Joseph’s Medical Center both experienced shootings within the hospital on the same day. The incident at Marymount Hospital included an off-duty policy officer and two Cleveland Clinic security officers who used a Taser to subdue a 45-year-old patient; however, the patient grabbed a stungun and used it on a nurse, which lead to the off-duty officer shooting the patient. The patient was then taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in critical condition. The shooting at St. Joseph’s Medical Center also included an off-duty police officer who responded to a call from staff members about a patient. The officers responding got into an altercation with the patient and also initially used a Taser to no effect; the patient was shot at least once and then taken to the intensive care unit.

Executives at New York City Health and Hospitals were fired after a probe into their Epic EHR system went well over budget. The hospital signed a contract in 2013 for $302 million over 15 years, but by August when the officials were fired the maintenance cost over six years was $764 million.

Forest Park Medical Center’s Dallas-based hospital closed in November after the hospital was unable to make payroll. The closure affected around 150 employees, who were emailed with news they wouldn’t be paid due to an “unexpected funding issue.” But this isn’t the first Texas hospital unable to make payroll before closing; Forest Park Medical Center’s San Antonio location closed the month before after being unable to pay around 100 employees. The hospital’s owner filed for bankruptcy collection.

In November, a murder-suicide at Florida Hospital’s Tampa location left two people dead in November. The shooting occurred in a hospital room. The victim was taken to a hospital emergency room where she died; the shooter was found dead of a self-inflicted wound. The hospital continued to run after the incident.

A patient at Houston-based Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital started two fires causing $1 million in damages. The patient was angry because the hospital refused to render emergency room services. The fires were started in a next door building and caused the sprinkler system to ignite. The patient was arrested and charged with criminal arson.

At York (Maine) Hospital earlier this year, a female patient summoned a physician into her room in the emergency room and asked for the door to be closed. When it was, the patient grabbed the physician and slashed her with an edged plastic tab broken off a pediatric code cart. A hospital security guard rushed to the room when the physician called for help and the patient was charged with aggravated assault.

Minnesota’s Aitkin County Sherriff’s Investigator was shot and killed by a patient he was guarding at St. Cloud Hospital. The deputy was helping monitor a patient who was being investigated in connection to a domestic-related incident. The patient and deputy were struggling and the patient took the deputy’s firearm before shooting and killing him. A security officer eventually used a Taser on the patient who died later.

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