Patient death prompts stairwell reform at CA hospital

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved a California hospital's corrective response plan after a patient who went missing was found dead in a stairwell, California Healthline reported. The safety policy changes came after San Francisco General Hospital admitted a 57-year-old woman on Sept. 19 who went missing from her room two days later. The woman's body was discovered Oct. 8 in a hospital stairwell used as a fire escape. The hospital's corrective response measures include having: stairwell doors equipped with alarms that can only be turned off with a key, nurses account for their patients when the alarms go off, hospital security patrol the stairwells daily, and sheriff's deputies look for missing patients who show signs of disorientation or confusion. The coroner ruled the missing patient's death accidental--caused by "probable electrolyte imbalance with delirium" because of "complications of chronic ethanolism." Article

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