In March of 2014, a psychiatric ER nurse at Parkland Memorial Hospital shoved a toilet paper roll into a patient’s mouth while another staff member covered her head with a sheet. A police report noted “blood stains can be seen on the toilet tissue.”
The incident comes three years after the monumental abuse case of Parkland psych patient George Cornell. In that case, Mr. Cornell struggled with attendants, who held him down. Ultimately, his arms were pulled across his chest and he was wrestled face down to the floor of a solitary confinement room. Unable to breathe, he died.
Texas regulations prohibit force that inhibits a patient’s ability to breathe or communicate. As a result of the Cornell incident, Parkland pledged to retrain their employees and develop a safe culture for psych ER patients. However, at least one of the same supervising nurse regulators, Sherwin De Guzman, was involved in the recent gagging incident. Parkland released a statement saying the staff involved in the March incident has been trained on the safe use of restraints. Additionally, two were fired, one resigned, and one received “corrective action.”
When someone is injured or dies in an incident such as patient abuse, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the injured party’s right to recover.
Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue a claim for such injuries or fatalities.