Investigators Blame Patient's Death On Facedown Restraint
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 26, 2006
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND--Seven staff members of St. James' Hospital overpowered Geoffrey Hodgkins and held him facedown for 25 minutes before they noticed that he had stopped breathing, an independent investigation has found.
The November 2004 incident proved fatal for Hodgkins, 37, who had a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
According to The Guardian, the investigators found that Hodgkins did not present a danger to anyone at the time he was restrained, and had actually locked himself alone in a darkened room before staff decided to restrain him.
Hodgkins' death happened just eight months after another independent inquiry recommended that psychiatric patients should never be restrained facedown for more than three minutes at a time. That recommendation came following the death of David "Rocky" Bennett, who died in a psychiatric unit in 1998 after being held on his stomach for 28 minutes by at least four nurses.
"NHS criticised over mental health patient's death under restraint" (The Guardian)