State psychiatric patient dies, another hospitalized

They shared a room at Western State Hospital in Lakewood. Officials said they would conduct a review.

Associated Press

LAKEWOOD — State health officials said one patient died and another was hospitalized after they were found unresponsive in the room they shared at Western State Hospital.

The two were found during a routine check at 12:45 a.m. Sunday, said a spokesman for the Department of Social and Health Services. Western is the state’s largest psychiatric facility.

“We are devastated by the loss of a patient and our hearts go out to their loved ones,” said DSHS Behavioral Health Administration Assistant Secretary Sean Murphy.

Officials said they would conduct an internal review to determine what happened. Lakewood police and the Pierce County Medical Examiner were notified.

Officials said they were bound by strict confidentiality laws and couldn’t give specific information regarding patients, but confirmed that one of the patients had been away from the hospital on what is known as an “authorized leave” and had returned as scheduled.

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