NEWS
09/20/2011 07:08 EDT | Updated 11/20/2011 05:12 EST

Toronto Man, 78, Says He Was Injured By Hospital Staff

Police are reviewing security footage from a Toronto hospital and interviewing staff after a 78-year-old man claimed he was roughed up by guards, dragged down a hallway and handcuffed to a bed for nearly eight hours, CBC News has learned.

Ronald Meredith has bruises on his arms and neck after the incident at St. Joseph's Health Centre. He now needs crutches to get around his apartment.

Meredith was admitted to the hospital earlier this week after suffering from chest pains but began to feel better.

On the night before his scheduled release, Meredith says an elderly patient kept shouting and he couldn't sleep so he put on his clothes and went to the reception room.

Two large security guards approached him 30 minutes later and told him to return to his room. Meredith said he would not because of the screaming patient.

"I says 'I'm not going back to my room.' 'Oh yes you are,' [the guards said]. And then they pounced on me," Meredith recalled.

Meredith said the two men put him in a headlock and started dragging him down the hallway. They also punched him in the head, Meredith said.

He was then thrown on a bed and his arms and legs were handcuffed to the railings, he said.

Meredith, who is a diabetic, said he was there for almost eight hours without food or his medication before cleaning staff found him and called a nurse.

'It really shook me up'

"I still can't fathom that it happened, just like a dream," Meredith said. "And it really shook me up."

Staff at St. Joseph's Health Centre said they could not be interviewed for this story, citing patient confidentiality.

The hospital's president and CEO did, however, email a statement.

"We take any complaint or allegation from a patient or family member very, very seriously," Carolyn Baker wrote. "We are conducting a detailed review based on information available to us internally and we have not yet heard directly from this patient."

Police are also interviewing Meredith.