State investigators have found that patients held at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter were maltreated in two cases, including one where a patient banged his head against a concrete wall for three hours without staff intervention.
The findings, released today by the state Office of the Inspector General, are just the latest allegations of improper procedures for the troubled hospital, which provides treatment to more than 400 adults deemed mentally ill and dangerous.
In the incident that occurred on Aug. 18, 2012, a patient hit their head against a concrete wall two to six times every five to 10 minutes over a three-hour period without any staff intervention. Investigators said in their report that the patient's face was bruised and significantly swelled.
In the second incident on Jan. 2, 2013, a patient who suffered from seizures did not receive advanced medical treatment for four hours after a stroke, although the patient did not show their normal signs of recovering from a seizure.
For these two incidents, the hospital will be fined $2,000. The state Department of Human Services also extended the hospital's conditional license until December 2014, according to a letter sent today from the state Office of the Inspector General to hospital director Carol Olson.
The conditional license governs the facilities treatment of vulnerable adults. It was first instituted in December 2011 after earlier cases of maltreatment were found at the hospital.
In a statement, DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said she is deeply concerned about the two incidents, but "encouraged that the Licensing Division has acknowledged that significant improvements have taken place at the facility over the past year."
The hospital has previously been cited for incidents where staff didn't complete necessary paperwork for cases involving restraints or seclusion. The hospital's administration has also received attention for slip-ups, including accidentally releasing a violent sex offender, and a number of violent incidents.