Last week, we had a patient who was upset about being in the hospital and made it known to his parents who were visiting, that he will not be here the next day. He stormed out of the visiting area and went back to his room. A few minutes later we heard a loud crash coming from his room and we rushed to see what happened. I cringed at the thought of seeing the patient hang himself. Upon entering the room, we didn’t see him so we immediately checked the bathroom. The window had been busted open and the patient was trying to escape! He probably thought that the window led to his freedom. Unbeknownst to him, it opened into an inside patio with a door leading to the nurse’s station. After a brief tug of war of the door between him and a female nurse, he managed to enter the office. There, he encountered more nursing staff who had rushed back to the office knowing that the only egress the patient had was in there. He must have been so disappointed to see where he ended up in. He tried to fight with us when he was being escorted out of the office so we didn’t have a choice but to tie him on a bed with leather restraints. As I probably mentioned in a post awhile ago, we try as much as possible to avoid restraining a patient, but in this case, with his aggressive behavior, that was our only option. He was a pretty strong fellow because he was a trained gymnast who developed depression in recent years. The next day, we saw him doing push-ups in his room. The kind of horizontal push-ups where his feet didn’t touch the ground and just all arms!
It was fortunate for us that the great escape turned out to be a failed attempt. This patient could have harmed himself or worse if he succeeded. Gymnast, he was, but Steve McQueen he was not.
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