North Carolina Workers at Butner Mental Hospital Accused of Beating Patient

December 26, 2007, by Michael A. DeMayo

Three workers at John Umstead Hospital in North Carolina are accused of beating a 51-year-old patient who staying at the state mental hospital while she was strapped to her bed. She was reportedly hit in the head because she attacked a clerk.

A health care technician at the hospital reports hearing noises from a room that sounded like someone was being struck. After her assault, a technician walked out of the “quiet room” where the beating took place and turned off the video monitor that showed the patient in the room.

One technician who took part in the assault on the patient complained that her knuckles were red and swollen from having to subdue the woman during the attack on the clerk.

Another 39-year-old patient reportedly punched, choked, and chased staff members and patients repeatedly before staff members decided to start monitoring her full-time. When the monitors weren’t around, the patient continued to attack other patients. Staff members were not wearing the body alarms that the hospital requires that they use.

Investigators are citing lack of proper leadership and qualified staff as two reasons that the abuse incidents were able to take place. They are recommending that the hospital lose its federal funding because it failed to prevent the violence. Federal funding makes up 25% of the hospital’s yearly budget.

Other incidents of abuse or neglect at the hospital include:

• Staff neglecting to observe a patient’s blood-sugar levels and administer insulin.
• A restrained patient who should have been observed at all times was able to free one of her arms and wrap her gown around her neck.

Unfortunately, there are already too many incidents of abuse and neglect that occur at nursing homes and other care facilities. Common types of abuse at a care facility include:

• Physical assault
• Sexual assault
• Rape
• Depriving the patient of food or water
• Excessive use physical restraints
• Excessive use of medication or chemical restraint or electric shock beyond what is prescribed by a doctor
• Slapping, shaking, or pushing the patient
• Imprisoning a patient
• Emotional abuse
• Mental abuse
• Verbal abuse

Hospital workers beat N.C. patient,, December 13, 2007

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse: Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Related Web Resource:

John Umstead Hospital – Butner,NC,



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