Patient Commits Suicide Using Ceiling Vents; Family Alleges Riveredge Placed on Notice 5 Years Earlier by State to Fix Vents

Patient committed suicide at Riveredge Hospital using slatted ceiling HVAC vents in June 2013. Plaintiff alleges that State of Illinois regulators ordered Riveredge Hospital to modify all slatted vents no later than 2008 and that such modifications would have taken less than 48 hours to complete. Plaintiff alleges that the patient was a known suicide risk, having attempted suicide on 2 prior occasions, including in the Lake County Sheriff transport on the way to Riveredge Hospital. Despite these suicide attempts, Plaintiff alleges that Riveredge only placed the patient on ‘routine’ monitoring when the more appropriate 1:1 observation was warranted. This case is ongoing as of May 23, 2016.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid investigated the suicide and found that Riveredge Hospital violated the Medicare condition of participation of patient rights and placed a patient in “immediate jeopardy” by failing to ensure that suicide hazards were removed from its patient units.