MN hospital cited after disturbed ED patient gets Tasered

When the staff at Northfield (MN) City Hospital's emergency believed that a disturbed patient was about to become violent, they called the local police, as their facility didn't have the security staff to deal with the situation. When the patient remained threatening, the police Tasered the man, after which hospital staffers were able to medicate the man and transfer him to a psych unit at a different facility. Now, federal and state health officials have cited the hospital for violating the patient's rights. The Minnesota Department of Health says the hospital failed to protect the patient safety, a charge that theoretically could cause it to lose its CMS certification unless it is addressed.

The Minnesota Hospital Association and other industry observers say that Northfield did nothing wrong. However, regulators say that the hospital should have been better prepared to deal with the man even before the police arrived, given that they see drugged and psychiatrically-disturbed patients every day. What's more, hospital staffers shouldn't have let the situation escalate for five hours, between the patient's arrival at 2 a.m. and the arrival of the police at 7 a.m., reviewers said.

To learn more about this incident:
- read this Minneapolis Star-Tribune article