Robbinsdale care facility blamed for resident’s suicide

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 12, 2014 - 8:38 PM

State investigators are blaming a Robbinsdale assisted-living facility for allowing a client with strong suicidal tendencies to get his hands on enough drugs and alcohol to mix himself a deadly concoction that the 62-year-old man downed two days before his scheduled move to a substance abuse treatment center.

The resident’s death in his apartment on June 23 at the Lodge at Copperfield Hill occurred because the man “was not adequately assessed prior to readmission from a detox center and … his safety was not properly monitored,” according to results of a Health Department investigation released this week.

Despite Copperfield Hill’s operators being “aware of his suicide idealations and that he was scheduled to be transferred in two days to an inpatient 30-day treatment center,” the report continued, “he was able to obtain narcotics and alcohol sufficient to commit suicide.”

The ingredients the man used to kill himself included methadone, hydromorphone (a painkiller), diazepam (an anti-anxiety narcotic) and citalopram, an antidepressant the man was taking daily.

The investigation failed to determine where the other drugs came from, the report noted.

The man tried to kill himself twice previously and was suffering from numerous psychological conditions and alcoholism, according the investigation’s findings.

In investigatory interviews, four facility staff members acknowledged being unaware of the resident’s suicidal tendencies, the report said. Three of them also said they didn’t know of any specific precautions that were needed because of his alcohol abuse.

Copperfield Hill was issued a state citation, prompting the facility to address and correct its shortcomings.

As is the Health Department’s practice, the report’s publicly released details did not include the names of the staff members involved or the resident’s name.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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