Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One-legged Disabled Woman Goes to MedWest/ Haywood Regional 3 Days in a Row in order to Be Admitted for ECT for Severe Depression and Nothing Happens

FROM: Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Licensed Psychologist, NC

Cell: 828 772 5197 e mail: chomskysright@gmail.com

TO: Dr. --------- psychiatrist, -------------------- , Meridian Behavioral Health; Waynesville, NC 28786

RE: ----------, your patient you sent for ECT

Date: 6.12.2012

Dear Dr. --------:

I have the permission of ---------- to speak to you and Dr. -------- re:  -------- difficulties in being admitted for ECT last week as associated with your recommendation that this take place regarding her severe depression which has not been treated with anti depressant meds. She went to the Haywood Regional or MedWest, sequentially, on three different days last week in order to be admitted to Parkridge Hospital for ECT. She never secured any admission and the following is what she has stated took place. As you know, she is a handicapped woman w/ a Below Knee Amputation, from several years ago, as re: earlier Motor Vehicle Accident.

On the first day she went to MedWest Emergency Department (ED), she was not seen for 4-5 hours. She left. An employee from Appalachian Counseling reportedly came to do an assessment re: the ECT admission at her home in Canton after this. She advised the client to go back to the ED the next day in order to have blood drawn.

On the second day she went to MedWest ED for 4-5 hours. During that period of time, she had blood drawn and a urine screen. No one from mental health services saw her during that time. She was given Indocet by a PA in the ED re: pain from sitting in her wheelchair for that period of time. Upon noticing the policeman and security guard outside her ‘room’ in the ED, she asked why they were there and she was advised because she had been ‘involuntarily committed’ (which she was not; she was allowed to leave).

On the third day she went to MedWest ED for 4-5 hours in order to obtain the results of her urine screen and blood test which indicated vitamin deficiencies across the board, if you will, as she has been anorexic, as you know. She gave up being triaged to Parkridge Medical Center where she would have (hopefully) received ECT due to her severe depression.

The next week, I received a call from -------------, a mental health professional from Meridian Behavioral Health, asking me how she was doing, with he indicating that she had ‘dismissed herself’ though she seemed depressed and it was a general query about follow-up. I advised --------- in a phone call that I continue to see the client on twice/ week. I have heard nothing since.

The client continues to be very depressed and is taking her medication as prescribed which is arranged in a pill box by her visiting nurse (she is a CAP patient and receives approximately 5 hours/ day of in-home visitation by an aide).

However, she indicates no interest in returning for the ECT given the difficulties of being admitted to Parkridge Hospital, where there is a woman’s unit----given that the Behavioral Health Unit at MedWest/ Haywood could not, reportedly, admit her, as she has ‘too many physical health issues.’  There was never any transportation created for any admission to Parkridge where, reportedly, she would have been accommodated given her physical health issues.  Why she was not advised of any of this is confusing to myself and the client.

What is a puzzle to me is why she was left sitting for hours, in her wheelchair, without information about what was going to take place. I am left to conclude that the ED at MedWest was able to charge her Medicare insurance a great deal of money for the hours she sat, without treatment, and without direction. I have advised her that the next time this takes place, she should place a call to the Director of Nursing so that the problem should be remedied.

I wanted to advise you of what has taken place and am also forwarding this to the ACT psychiatrist with whom you work, ---------------as he is well familiar with Meridian Behavioral Health and I do not believe he would have wanted this to have taken place. I do not know what the problem was, but certainly this should not have occurred and was not in keeping w/ your recommendation that she receive ECT.

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD


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