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Kyoto police investigating possible abuse of elderly patients at hospital

A marble was found in the mouth of an elderly patient who died (TV Asahi)
A marble was found in the mouth of an elderly patient at hospital in Maizuru City who died (TV Asahi)

KYOTO (TR) – Kyoto Prefectural Police are investigating the suspected abuse of two bedridden male patients, one of whom has died, at a hospital in Maizuru City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 27).

On four occasions between February 24 and March 11, one patient at the Maizuru Municipal Hospital, aged in his 60s, was found to have suffered bruising and internal bleeding on his chest and side, the director of the hospital, Shigehiro Inoue, revealed on Monday at a press conference.

On March 12, a marble (1.5 centimeters in diameter) was found inside the mouth of another patient, also aged in his 60s. He later died due to what hospital officials said was “a chronic disease that had worsened.”

Both patients had been hospitalized for extended periods in which their conditions rendered communication difficult. They had been in the same room, which did not have a security camera installed, according to NHK (Mar. 28).

On March 21, a nurse from the hospital consulted with the Maizuru Police Station. “I don’t know if [the abnormalities] were deliberate or accidental,” the nurse said, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 27). An investigation was subsequently launched on suspicion of ill-treatment.

“To the patients and their families, I am sorry that this has happened under care [at our facility],” Inoue said.