What is a Sentinel Event?
The Joint Commission defines sentinel events as occurrences to patients in medical facilities “…involving death or serious physical or psychological injury, or the risk thereof." As you will note from the pie chart above, patient suicides are a comparatively frequent sentinel event identified by The Joint Commission. The Door SwitchTM was developed to mitigate the most common method of suicide employed in medical facilities—hanging using a door as a ligature point.
Please visit The Joint Commission for more information on sentinel events.
The Door SwitchTM is the original top-of-the door ligature attempt warning system and holds U.S. Patents RE 42,991 and RE 44,039. We have been serving mental health professionals since 2006.
Each Door SwitchTM is a pressure sensor activated by approximately one to two pounds of downward pressure applied to the top, rather than the face (front or back surfaces), of the door. With system activation at the top of the door, ligature devices applied from either side of the door result in system alerts. Hospital staff are notified of system alerts by a combination of audible alarms, strobes, and door identification provided at a keypad typically located at a nurses’ station. The system utilizes proven Honeywell electronic components, including the Honeywell Vista 128BPT panel as the controller.
The Honeywell Vista 128BPT control panel provides an event log that records the times and dates of 512 events. The controller records the application of pressure to one of the system’s Door SwitchesTM, the removal of that pressure, and the turning of a key switch to silence the alarm. Logged events can be viewed from the keypad or downloaded to a computer and printed.
The Door SwitchTM has been installed in mental health facilities across the country. We are proud to state that we have many satisfied mental health facility clients and can provide you with their contact information for reference purposes.
For additional information, a demonstration of The Door SwitchTM, or a free quote, please call or email us.
Suicides Among Young People on the Rise
CNN April 2019: According to a recent article in April 2019, Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez with CNN reports that the number of children and teens in the United States who visited emergency rooms for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts doubled between 2007 and 2015.
From the 300 emergency rooms sampled, the researchers tracked the number of children between 5 and 18 who received a diagnosis of suicidal ideation or suicide attempts each year. Diagnoses of either condition increased from 580,000 in 2007 to 1.12 million in 2015, according to the study, published in JAMA Pediatrics. The average age of a child at the time of evaluation was 13, and 43% of the visits were in children between 5 and 11.
Doctors weigh in on this epidemic and fear that the peak has not yet been reached. "We know that suicide and depression have been rising significantly," said Dr. Gene Beresin, executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
They cite reasons for the rise in depression and suicidal behaviors as more stress and pressure on kids, as well as increased rates of cyberbullying on social media. It’s a complicated reason with no one clear answer.
In addition, shortages in child and adolescent psychiatrists increase complications in addressing this problem, with fewer than 17 providers per 100,000 children. This means many families face long wait times, which can lead to worsening of a child's underlying mental health condition and an eventual need for more treatment sessions than if the condition had been addressed in its early stages, explained Jennifer Mautone, a psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Nearly 1 in 7 kids have a mental health issue.
According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics in February, half of kids in the United States with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety go untreated.
What can we do? We can ask questions and stay aware of the warning signs.
Mental illness can be silent illnesses or manifest in ways parents would not expect. In addition to sadness, depression in kids and teens can manifest as anger and irritability. Red flags are isolation, dropping grades and unusual behavior. Experts recommend asking teens clearly if they feel depressed or have considered hurting themselves or ending their lives. Experts agree that asking these questions directly does not increase the risk of suicide.
To read this entire article, click here.
Source: CNN Article; Number of children going to ER with suicidal thoughts, attempts doubles, study finds
The Door Switch wants to continue the fight for more awareness and provide additional resources to dispel the myths about mental health issues and solutions for safety issues. We also continue to strive to provide a product that keeps the hospital environment safe. We continue to be committed to better practices and procedures in mental health community. For information concerning our safety product, please click here.
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