According to federal officials, Dallas Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, a DeSoto psychiatric hospital, will lose Medicare funding for putting its patients in "immediate jeopardy" of harm. The decision was made based on inspection reports which detailed allegations such as a staff member who did not know how to deal with potential sexual predators, patients being left untreated for hours, and a 12-year-old boy who was injected with an anti-psychotic drug for "agitation" even though video footage showed he was watching cartoons.
It is clear that hospitals are dangerous places. Sixteen years ago, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences published a study, "To Err is Human," and concluded that at least 44,000 patients were killed (and many more injured) in hospitals each year because of medical errors. This was a shocking number then. But the numbers got worse.