Patient left 'black and blue' in Limerick psychiatric ward

'Helpless' father alleges staff used excessive force on son 

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Limerick 5B patient was left 'black and blue' in acute psychiatric ward

The man was recently admitted to the acute psychiatric ward 5B at University Hospital Limerick

A LIMERICK man on disability was left “black and blue” after his father claimed hospital staff used excessive force while restraining the patient who had been admitted with serious self harm injuries.

The man, aged 30, was recently admitted to the acute psychiatric ward 5B at University Hospital Limerick, hours after he was brought to the emergency department with a serious blade wound.

The patient resides in the city outskirts and is under the care of his parents. 

His father told this newspaper that when the man, who has a severe spinal problem, was placed in a cubicle in the ED, he “kicked off and gave the wall a belt”. That is when, he said, staff allegedly “rushed to him” and restrained the patient on the ground.

“They grabbed him, and they tried to restrain him. But they did more than restrain him. They knocked him over. One had his knee on his throat, another had his knee on his back and his hand on his head,” he alleged.

The father, who contacted the gardaí after witnessing the incident, said that he had “no problem” with his son being restrained.

“But they took it too far. He was roaring: ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.’ And I was telling them: ‘Stop, stop, you are hurting him. He is not able for this.’ They were down on top of him and they just overreacted,” he said. 

He said that he “felt helpless” during the ordeal.

“But thankfully, he is in a good place at the moment. He is marked and he is black and blue all over, and now he is having trouble with his back.”

When contacted by the Leader, the HSE said that it was aware of the matter. 

It said that “in appropriate and necessary circumstances security staff will assist clinical staff in managing a situation where a service user is likely to cause serious harm to self, other patients, staff or property.

“Anyone who believes they have been mistreated in any way can use a number of avenues including writing a complaint and sending it directly to us, contacting our complaints system online through your service your say or if someone believes they have been assaulted they can make a complaint to An Garda Siochana.”