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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:23 AM

Feds say Texas failed patient who tried to starve herself to death

Source: Houston Chronicle

When Brandy Bell was committed to Rusk State Hospital on May 14, there was little doubt she was a complicated patient with a long history of psychiatric problems. But one of her current struggles was painfully obvious.

"She was starving herself," said Bell's mother, Rita. "She wanted to die."

During the Conroe woman's 16 days at the state hospital, Bell virtually stopped eating. She lost 9 pounds in nine days, according to her medical records, grew dehydrated and lost strength. She began using a wheelchair.
On May 30, she died. She was 33.

Officially, Bell's autopsy said she died from blood clots in her lungs. But a subsequent examination of her case by a federal Medicare investigator also concluded the hospital made crucial mistakes by neglecting Bell's self-starvation and providing substandard nursing care.

Bell's case is one of three cases involving state hospital patients with eating disorders being investigated by Disability Rights Texas, a federally funded protection and advocacy group. The other two patients - one is in Austin State Hospital, the other in Big Spring - are still alive.


Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/health/article/Feds-say-Texas-failed-patient-who-tried-to-starve-4085352.php

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Reply Feds say Texas failed patient who tried to starve herself to death (Original post)
AlphaCentauri Dec 2012 OP
1ProudAtheist Dec 2012 #1
Warpy Dec 2012 #2
SunSeeker Dec 2012 #3
99th_Monkey Dec 2012 #6
Skittles Dec 2012 #7
Plucketeer Dec 2012 #12
SunSeeker Dec 2012 #13
99th_Monkey Dec 2012 #15
Hekate Dec 2012 #4
darkangel218 Dec 2012 #5
TexasTowelie Dec 2012 #8
Stonepounder Dec 2012 #14
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #9
KatyMan Dec 2012 #10
KatyMan Dec 2012 #11

Response to AlphaCentauri (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:30 AM

1. With Texas

 

starving someone to death is cheaper than shooting them up with dog-killing drugs. Phuck Dingleperry and all that is Texass.

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Response to 1ProudAtheist (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:53 AM

2. Either nobody noticed what was going on

or the doctors just spent too much time with their thumbs up their butts over getting a court order for a feeding tube.

They might have done her a favor. It sounds like she was pretty determined to go.

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Response to AlphaCentauri (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:55 AM

3. We have not come very far in treating the mentally ill.

These sort of places really are a horror show, especially if you're poor. The alternative is the streets, where your chances of death are even higher. I read somewhere that people with severe bipolar disease or schizophrenia have a five-year survival rate about on par with most cancer patients.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:56 AM

6. Do you recall the source

about bipolar et. al. 5-year survival rate?

1 of my 3 sons is bipolar and well-into an episode currently,
where he's committed for months to get stabilized again.

He's a great person, creative, witty, well-read, artistic, and
makes friends easily, but when he's well into an episode a lot
of that just goes out the window until it runs its course.

Is horrible to watch someone I love so much keep doing this,
over and over, every 1-2 years a 3-5 month episode, involving
hospitalization, etc. it's horrid..

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:15 AM

7. so sorry, 99

I wish the billions we waste on senseless war could be spent on researching such devastating illnesses

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Response to Skittles (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:46 AM

12. Monies for research and so many other things!

Yet we're throwing TRILLIONS down the "black holes" of American Imperialism. BOOM - BOP - BAZOWIE!!! Yea! Look how smart our bombs are! Never mind how stupid our agenda is!

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:08 AM

13. May you have strength. You'll need it.

A friend from work was diagnosed at 33 with bipolar disorder. She ended up running out into a busy intersection near the office and almost got killed--we stopped traffic and dragged her back onto the sidewalk. Thereafter she was hsopitalized. She did not return to work. It is so sad and such a waste. She is brilliant, with advanced degrees. And she has two kids. Fortunately she has insurance and a caring husband. Your son is lucky to have you.

I couldn't find the article I had read (it was after the episode with my friend, which was some years ago), but I did find this recent one, which discusses the advancing mortality rate.

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2012/premature-death-rates-rising-in-schizophrenia-bipolar-patients/

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:01 PM

15. Thanks for the article

oddly it said 3/4 of the premature deaths were from "Circulatory disease and respiratory disease",
which really is informative. I expected most to be from exposure (homelessness) and/or suicide.

Thanks too for your encouraging words. Very much appreciated.

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Response to AlphaCentauri (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:58 AM

4. I hope she is at peace now. Condolences to her family.

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Response to AlphaCentauri (Original post)


Response to AlphaCentauri (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:34 AM

8. Unfortunately the headline should be shortened to "Feds say Texas Failed".

Another sad result of the cuts to social services that occurred nearly 20 years ago when GWB was pretending to lead the state.

Such a sad story. I hope that she finds peace and condolences to those who knew her.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:33 AM

14. Go back even further.

The move to ignore the mentally ill started way back under King Ronnie when he was governor of California, and then later when he was President. I have watched the State (Mental) Hospitals close. I have watched the severely disturbed be judged 'competent'. I had a step-son that I knew needed hospitalization, the judge knew he needed hospitalization, but the state judged him 'competent', so he spent most of his life in jail instead of getting help. I had a son-in-law who tried to commit suicide, was found, was sent to the psychiatric wing of the local hospital for a '72 hour hold' and evaluation. Was released after 72 hours, when home, and committed suicide within 4 hours of arriving home.

But we can't raise taxes. But we can fight unfunded wars around the globe. We can have a Congress that wants to cut more of the current, badly tattered, safety net. And we have a rich elite that is outraged that we might not give them more tax breaks, since they just aren't rich enough. The Walton heirs control more wealth than the bottom 40% of the US population, and they have just figured out that if they quit giving health benefits to those workers working less than 30 hours a week, those workers can get Medicaid and Wal-Mart won't have to pay.

No wonder Congress is ranked more dishonest and more unethical than any other group except for used-car salesmen. And give it another few months and people will trust used-car salesmen more than they trust Congress.

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Response to AlphaCentauri (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:23 AM

9. A Texas medical examiner saw only what he wanted to see.

A Medicare investigator employed by the Federal government found the truth and gave a damn about it.
All this grousing about state's rights taps a bit hollow when state authorities prove incompetent or refuse to accept hard truth.
I don't think state authorities have the right to deceive themselves and hurt the citizenry as a result. That is a privilege that has time and again turned the corner into crime.
The distance between privilege and crime is very short.
Texas ... a truly privileged state.

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Response to AlphaCentauri (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:59 AM

10. While I agree that this is a tragedy

Families must be more involved in loved ones' care- especially so if they are in a nursing home or state facility. If someone who loved this woman was there for even one meal a day, this may have been prevented. All too often I have seen (this is KatyMan's wife) people literally dumped in facilities and no one ever comes to visit them. State facilities in all states are notoriously understaffed and poorly run. This is not unique to Texas. Again, this is a tragedy. Everyone involved, even the family, bear some of the responsibility.

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Response to KatyMan (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:08 AM

11. States grades for mental health care

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