New Article: The Tragedy of Too Little Care

The administration of antipsychotic medications is a matter of finesse. It takes time for the medications to have their desired effects. They should always be titrated carefully. And yet, hospitalization policy rushes a process that needs more time. Those hospitalized with psychiatric disabilities are often administered major medications changes, which ought to be observed for two weeks or more. But hospitalization stays have been compressed to an average of only 7.8 days. This sorry state of care for the psychiatrically disabled leads to imcomplete treatment, high rates of rehospitalizations, and… tragedy, as Bloomberg News reported this week:

Adam had U-turned directly into oncoming traffic. On impact with his car, Elisa’s side of the Explorer crumbled like a candy wrapper. Once his car came to a halt, Adam climbed out, jumped over a guardrail into traffic and was hit by five vehicles, police reports say. He died at the scene. Elisa succumbed to injuries three weeks later. Their deaths lay bare continuing failures of the U.S. health care system in treating the seriously mentally ill, and in protecting the public from their disturbed behavior. Adam’s parents say he died because a series of hospitals sent him home too soon in the turbulent final months of his life. [Read the entire Bloomberg article: Son Who Hears Voices Finds Health Care Fatally Dysfunctional .]

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