Patients Escapes at All-Time High at Michigan Behavioral Hospital

The hospital has had 14 different patient escapes since 2020.

By Mackenna Moralez, Associate Editor
February 28, 2023

A children’s psychiatric hospital in Michigan has experienced an increase in patient escapes over the last month, 7 ABC Detroit reports. 

In January, five patients have escaped from Hawthorn Center. According to 7 ABC Detroit, some of the patients are now facing possible criminal charges as a result of their actions when they left the hospital.  

There have been 14 different patient escapes since 2020, with patients missing of upwards of one hour or more. On multiple occasions, K-9 units were discharged to help aid in the search of patients that have disappeared. According to 7 ABC Detroit, there have been almost a dozen of 911 calls over the last two years that requested law enforcement’s help in locating patients.  

A lack of staff contributed to these recent escapes. There are currently 91 vacant positions at the hospital. Employees reportedly say that every day at the hospital is a struggle due to the overwhelming workload.  

“[We]review all incidents at our state hospitals to determine if changes in procedures are needed,” the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement to 7 ABC Detroit. “In all cases of elopement from Hawthorn Center this year, youth were immediately followed by staff. In all cases, youth were returned to the facility the same day and in two cases youth were returned to the center within minutes of leaving.” 

Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor of the facilities market.  

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