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Mental health unit dismissed anxious patient | Our Client’s Story

Catherine Henry Lawyers
Catherine Henry Lawyers

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Mental Health

We recently acted for the family members of a woman who successfully committed suicide while she was an inpatient at a mental health unit of a regional hospital.

During her admission, the deceased had continuously expressed feelings of profound pessimism and hopelessness. Four days prior to her death, she was placed on close 15-minute observations after informing the hospital staff that she was feeling suicidal.

The next day, close observations were ceased despite the hospital staff in the mental health unit acknowledging that she had chronic suicidal thoughts that had heightened over the last 24 hours.

Over the next couple of days, the deceased continued to express thoughts of death.

On the day of her death, the deceased reported that she was feeling anxious. She was given a sedative and taken to her room, where she was left alone for one hour. When a nurse returned to check on her, the deceased’s bathroom door was locked. When the door was finally able to be opened, the deceased fell onto the floor. She was unresponsive with a dressing gown cord around her neck. She had hung herself after securing a dressing gown cord to a hinge of the bathroom door. A medical emergency team (MET) call was made and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was commenced. Sadly, the deceased was unable to be revived.

The family members of the deceased suffered psychiatric injuries as a result of the manner and circumstances of the deceased’s death.

We successfully settled the family members’ claims at mediation for an amount which compensated them for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of income and household assistance which they required as a result of their injuries.

If you have lost a close family member as a result of what you suspect to be negligent treatment, our team of expert medical negligence lawyers can advocate for you and help to ease your burden.

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