Patient’s Death at Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo Due To Staff Neglect

A state investigation has concluded that staff neglect was the cause of the choking incident last September at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) that caused brain damage leading to a patient’s death, according to the occurrence summary report recently released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

The forensic pathologist who subsequently performed the autopsy on the decedent concluded that the brain damage was the cause of death.

The male patient in his 60s lacked bottom teeth and had a dietary restriction that required his food to be cut into small pieces.  After being served whole food by CMHIP staff, he collapsed when it lodged in his throat and obstructed his breathing.  Staff reportedly attempted, but failed to dislodge the food with the Heimlich maneuver, and then performed CPR, but the patient remained unresponsive.

He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was placed on life support, but his condition never improved.  Eight days later the support services were discontinued and he was pronounced dead.

The autopsy report states the cause of death was brain damage due to the lack of oxygen from choking on food.

Three CMHIP staff members were suspended during the state investigation.  Following CDPHE’s finding of staff neglect, one staff member was fired, one resigned, and one received corrective action that included additional training and supervision.

An accelerated response to the incident by CDPHE was triggered by a complaint filed by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Colorado.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by treatment at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo or any other mental health facility, we want to know what happened.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Please Sign CCHR’s Petition Demanding Investigation of Link Between Psychiatric Drugs And Violence

Image by Circe Denyer
Image by Circe Denyer

In all the speculation about what is causing the recent wave of shootings, the one thing they have in common has been largely ignored when it should be receiving urgent attention:  the shooters have received psychiatric treatment, which these days almost always means psychiatric drugs with known links to violence: 

  • From 2004 to 2011, over 12,700 reports of violent side effects from psychiatric drugs were reported to the FDA. (Only 1%-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA, so the actual number of violent side effects from these drugs could easily be 10 to 100 times higher.)
  • At least 14 school shootings were committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.  (In other school shootings, the shooters’ mental health history was not made public.)
  • The New York State Senate recognized the violence-inducing side effects of psychiatric drugs as far back as 2000, citing “a large body of scientific research establishing a connection between violence and suicide and the use of psychotropic drugs.”  [Psychotropic drugs = mind-altering psychiatric drugs]

CCHR is calling on U.S. lawmakers to immediately open an investigation into the role of psychiatric drugs in school shootings and similar acts of violence, given that  supporting data has to date been ignored by the U.S. government and the mental health agencies.

Please click here to read and sign CCHR International’s petition calling for this investigation. 

Federal Investigation Of The Link Between Shootings and Psychiatric Drugs Is Long Overdue

Today’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 small children and six adults were killed by an armed gunman, is the latest in a rash of tragic mass murders.  Will it also be the next act of senseless violence linked to psychiatric treatment – and, specifically, to psychiatric drugs?

NBC News reports that the 20-year-old alleged shooter, Adam Lanza, had a history of mental turmoil, according to what his brother Ryan told police.  If Adam Lanza was receiving psychiatric treatment, he almost certainly would have been given mind-altering psychiatric drugs.  If so, which one(s)?

In dozens of cases of mass murder or random acts of senseless violencethe perpetrators are known to have been under the influence of psychiatric drugs that have been documented by international drug regulatory agencies as causing adverse effects that include mania, psychosis, aggression, violence, and homicidal thoughts.

It is high time the public and public officials demand a federal investigation into shootings at schools, malls, and workplaces and any other acts of senseless violence for links to the mind-altering psychiatric drugs the shooters have taken. There is more than enough evidence to merit an investigation, and countless innocent lives are at stake.