Patients’ personal safety

A 28-year-old woman, who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder five years previously, was admitted to a mental health facility. When she arrived in the facility, the doctor who examined her determined  that she was experiencing decompensation and a severe depressive state due to bipolar disorder. He concluded that she needed to be hospitalized urgently. While she was in hospital, she told other patients that she had been having suicidal thoughts. During a team meeting, the staff agreed there was a risk that the patient would follow through on these thoughts, but she was not assessed further and no preventive measures were taken.  Two days after being admitted to hospital, the patient hanged herself in her room. The incidence of suicide among patients who are or have been hospitalized in mental health facilities is especially high, accounting for 3 to 5% of all suicides. Suicide prevention measures in hospitals can focus on five areas: securing the hospital environment; optimizing the care of patients at risk of suicide; training care teams; involving patients’ friends and families in their care; and adapting the facility’s policy.

Date de parution : 03/2018

Thème : Safety

Mots clés : Psychiatry, suicide

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