EDMONTON - A judge says an Edmonton hospital should try using video cameras to keep tabs on mental patients in rooms and common areas.
The judge says in a fatality report that a pilot program could be tested at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and eventually expand provincewide.
Terry McLellan hanged himself in a hospital washroom with the drawstring from his pyjama bottoms in December 2010.
McLellan had a history of depression and suicidal thoughts and had been taken to the hospital after an intentional drug overdose.
He was transferred to the psychiatric ward and placed under close but not constant observation.
He was found before he died, but his family took him off life support the next day because he was brain dead.
The fatality judge also suggested there need to be better guidelines to determine when a psychiatric in-patient needs to be placed under observation and at what level.
As for cameras, Judge Terrance Matchett wrote:
"In an age where video monitoring has become an accepted tool to prevent traffic or Criminal Code infractions, it is difficult to understand why it would not be utilized as a tool to help keep suicidal patients safe in what can be life or death situations."