Healthcare News & Insights

Patient found dead on hospital grounds hours after release from ER

A hospital is facing questions after a recently released patient died on hospital grounds — and after a lengthy wait for someone to actually assist him. Michael Torres, 49, arrived at Santa Rosa (CA) Memorial Hospital on the afternoon of Sept. 19. He arrived by ambulance, suffering from what appeared to be alcohol withdrawal. He was quickly treated and a released a few hours later.

About 12 hours later, a hospital staffer found Torres on the edge of the hospital grounds — but it was another 25 minutes until anyone called 911 for help for Torres.

Torres died at the scene. As of the time of publication, the cause of death isn’t known.

Hospital spokesperson noted that medical records indicate Torres received appropriate care, but that it’s possible not all of the care he received was properly recorded.

The hospital issued a statement expressing sympathy for Torres’ family and outlined changes it would be making to its procedures, including:

  • Retraining staff to ensure a nurse supervisor and a security guard are both informed when anyone outside the hospital is thought to be in distress.
  • Guiding staff in the best ways to get needed help for anyone who might be in distress on hospital grounds.
  • Conducting drills to ensure the policies are followed.

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