UPMC Pinnacle Hanover removes use of tasers following incident in March

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — UPMC Pinnacle Hanover has removed the use of tasers following an incident in March that resulted in the hospital being cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, according to a statement from the health care system.

The hospital has since been cleared by the department.

The incident occurred March 26 when a patient, who was becoming verbally and physically aggressive, was tased. Nursing documentation from that date, according to the department’s report, revealed that the patient was angry about having to wear hospital issued clothing. The documentation said that the patient broke the locker open — where the person’s clothes were — and exited the room, in which the patient kicked a nurse before going back to the room where the patient banged their head on the sink counter. The patient also became aggressive with security when the patient exited the room again.

The patient was tased in the abdomen after refusing to go back into the room and sit down. The patients was then held down and placed in restraints.

The report said that the when law enforcement personnel arrived after the patient was tased, they were unable to assume custody of the patient due to the “summary” offense charges.

The department cited UPMC Pinnacle Hanover after it “failed to ensure that each patient’s rights were protected and methods used to restrain patients were only utilized after all other alternatives were attempted.” The report added, “Although the taser was to be used as a law enforcement tool, the patient was never placed in law enforcement custody following the incident.”

UPMC Pinnacle’s statement said that it self-reported the incident and filed a corrective action plan that included the removal of tasers, policy revisions and staff training.

Read UPMC Pinnacle’s statement here: 

Patient and staff safety is always our top priority, and we are committed to ensuring the safest possible environment for patient care.

Due to patient confidentiality, we cannot comment on incident specifics. UPMC Pinnacle quickly self-reported the incident to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The hospital filed a corrective action plan which included the removal of tasers at UPMC Pinnacle Hanover, policy revisions, and staff training. UPMC Pinnacle Hanover has been cleared by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

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