Children At Psychiatric Hospital in Washington D.C. Might Be In Danger of Injury and Abuse

University Legal Services, Inc., an advocacy group for Washington D.C. children that have developmental disabilities, say that children at Riverside Hospital are in danger of “serious and persistent abuse and neglect.” City mental health officials will now begin to visit the hospital on a weekly basis to monitor the conditions there. Riverside Hospital treats youths up to 21 years of age.

The advocacy group’s report recounts incidents of physical violence (punching, slapping, choking, pushing) and verbal abuse by staff members and the use of physical restraints and seclusion to control patients’ behavior. Not enough supervision allegedly allowed teens to hurt themselves, steal bottles of medicine, and attack other patients. Treatment plans were supposedly not followed and living conditions at the facility were allegedly unsanitary and unhealthy.

Last December, one teen resident died at the hospital. The Department of Mental Health says the female teenager became ill last November and was sent to Georgetown University Hospital where she was placed on a ventilator. She was then taken by air to Inova Fairfax Hospital for cardiac surgery. She died the following month.

The department says that the hospital failed to order basic tests, document the teenager’s vital signs, tell a doctor that her condition was getting worse, or note down that she had a family history of heart disease.

Riverside hospital is a private, for-profit hospital.

When a person is seriously injured while staying at a hospital because of negligence on the part of any staff members, he or she may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Doctors, nurses, and medical staff members are required by law to provide proper care to their patients—medically, emotionally and psychologically. If that care is abused or not properly given, the negligent party could be sued for negligence or malpractice—depending on the type of abuse or neglect that occurred.

Some causes for a personal injury lawsuit can include:

• Nursing home abuse
• Negligence
• Physical abuse
• Verbal abuse
• Neglect
• Sexual abuse
• Rape
• Financial abuse
• Wrongful diagnosis
• Failure to diagnose
• Failure to administer proper care
• Physician error
• Surgical error
Youth Hospital Faulted For Abuse, Washington Post, July 26, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Department of Mental Health, Washington D.C.

Riverside Hospital, Washington D.C., Hospital Data
University Legal Services

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured, abused, or neglected by a medical practitioner or a staff member at a medical facility in Maryland or the Washington D.C. area, contact the personal injury law firm and Lebowitz and Mzhen.

Jack Lebowitz and Vadim Mzhen are committed to making sure that the rights of injury victims to compensation are upheld and that negligent parties are held responsible for their carelessness or negligence. We also are experienced in handling cases were minors are the injury victims.

Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen and request your free consultation.

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