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Psych Patient Flees Harford Memorial Hospital

Police found the man hiding in Havre de Grace, according to ExploreHarford.com.

Police found a psychiatric patient in Havre de Grace Wednesday afternoon after he escaped from Harford Memorial Hospital, according to ExploreHarford.com

At 11:45 a.m. on Oct. 24, a man in hospital garments left the emergency room, where he was brought on an emergency petition, according to ExploreHarford.com.

By Maryland law, one can file what is called an emergency petition to have another person committed to a hospital if the person has symptoms of a mental disorder and becomes violent or suicidal.

Less than an hour after the patient escaped, police found the 50-year-old man on a property at Giles Street and Lodge Lane, where he surrendered without incident, according to the report.

The amount of time the escapee had been in the emergency room, waiting to be admitted into the hospital's 23-bed psychiatric unit, was not immediately available.

The average wait time in an emergency room for psychiatric patients is 11.5 hours, according to the Annals of Emergency Medicine, which is 42 percent longer than other types of patients and can cause additional distress.

Martha Mallonee, spokesperson for Harford Memorial Hospital, could not immediately comment on the Oct. 24 incident, but did say, "because of population, every emergency room in the state has issues" with wait time.

diane denyer October 26, 2012 at 01:36 PM
If I had to wait 11 hours I would leave too!

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