Patient Alleges Abuse and Neglect at Florida State Hospital
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 10, 2012 – A patient at Florida State Hospital (FSH) says she was abused and neglected while she was pregnant. She says she was in labor but was refused help by four employees at the Chattahoochee hospital.
The patient was at FSH during the month of October 2011. In December she was taken by helicopter to Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee where she gave birth to a baby at the 38th week of gestation. The baby was stillborn and put on life support. The woman filed a lawsuit because she believes her pregnancy was handled improperly. If the baby lives, constant medical care may be required throughout its life into adulthood. Such medical care would be very expensive over the long term.
Two of the four employees connected with the woman’s situation were fired and a third resigned, though the resignation was said to be only coincidental. The fourth is on administrative leave. The state of Florida is investigating the matter.
“These medical situations involving the lives of young children are difficult to deal with emotionally,” said Tampa medical malpractice attorney Robert T. Joyce. “New mothers have to address many challenges, and medical malpractice should not be one of them.”
The State Attorney’s Office will determine if criminal negligence should be charged against any of the staff involved in the woman’s case. Some changes have taken place at FSH to improve oversight of medical staff and pregnancy care. For example, a doctor who was providing OB/GYN services has been replaced.
The hospital has over a thousand patients and only a very small number are pregnant women. Florida State Hospital was the only state hospital up until the year 1947. Currently it has a capacity of well over 900 beds. It is Florida’s largest mental health treatment facility and its oldest.
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