Albany Med investigating death of a patient


ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) - Officials at Albany Medical Center announced Friday night they are investigating the death of a patient.

Albany police say it all started around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday night when officers responded to a call for a man who appeared to be intoxicated and was harassing people.

Police say officers determined that he was intoxicated and may have been in crisis. He was later identified as 45-year-old Sean Pervis.

Police say he was taken to Albany Med and officers left him at the hospital.

About two hours later, police say they were notified that the patient was being belligerent.

WATCH: Albany Med press conference

But police say when officers responded, the patient was already dead.

At a press conference Friday night, Dr. Dennis McKenna, System Chief Medical Officer, explained that multiple attempts were made to deescalate the patient using words.

McKenna says with the patient's consent, he was given calming medication.

However, McKenna says it became necessary to restrain him.

McKenna would not say exactly how he was restrained, but did say there could be as many as 5 restraints applied, and they are applied to the wrists and ankles.

He says a fifth restraint could be applied across the chest.

"The need to restrain a patient who's acting in a manner similar to this is an occurrence that happens in our emergency department, in all local emergency departments, often. What is uncommon in this case, the patient died, and we are doing a full investigation to understand why," said McKenna.

McKenna says the patient's cause of death is still under investigation. He could not say if it was connected to the medication that was administered or the physical restraints.

An independent autopsy is being done as well as toxicology tests.

In the meantime, the staff involved have been put on administrative leave.

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